Sunday, January 28, 2007

Teaching: people love crazy, right?

I had no idea that being the professor (or should I say "sessional instructor") could be so much fun. (1.) When you are in front of the class, everyone seems interested in what you have to say (never happened before). (2.) 'chalk and talk': getting more chalk on you than on the board. (3.) It is the only time I have heard a Bluenoser say: 'sorry for being late, sir'. (4.) I can now wake-up people on command: "On the test ...". (5.) Most importantly, I am being the most me I can be!

Let me focus on #5: Ya see, most of da time, talkin' 'bout economics, well ... gets me some blank looks and I feel the need to makeitquick (or I get the "please stop doing this again" look from Tasya). But in the classroom, it is all economics all the time! And, well, I love it; and everyone knows it; and I don't have to hide it anymore; at least in the classroom when it is my turn to teach.

This leads me to #6!

(6.) I am addicted to the smile that says: are you for real? (aka. do you love this stuff that much?) I know you are as surprised as I am that this happens.

I have seen this look a number of times already. It is like no other like it. And, for some reason, it most frequently occurs when I make joke, then pause, smile, then continue - no laughter, just the half baked smile that says: I am not smiling at what you said, I am just blown away at the fact that you said it. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. Being me is great - even if people think I am crazy. Because: crazy is loved. People love crazy people. That is, just as long as you are credible too.

So after a few class, I know my mission: be crazy and credible.
So, you try it. Be the most you, that you can be. Practice on your pet or your (our someone else's )children. Or rant to your plants (if they grow faster - you win!). Really.


MadJenny said...


Just got your email about the blog. It is awesome that you're teaching! I think you'd be an excellent teacher. And, thanks for the link to your blog. I'll be sure to stop by and read often, despite the fact that I do not know anything about economics and really don't understand it. Perhaps I should be taking your class - if only I were back in beautiful Halifax.

Talk to you soon!
Jenn Stephen

Canadian Economist said...

Jenn! I visited your blog: awesome! I know, let's make a deal: you learn about economics from my blog, and I will learn about adventures (and expand my vocabulary) from yours?

Great to hear from!
- Dan

MadJenny said...

You are totally on my friend. But prepare for a terrible student.

Amy said...


From my meager teaching experience I offer you the following advice: use a chalk holder. Write big. Wipe the eraser on a ledge before erasing. Erase the board after class, and las but not least: coloured chalk makes students nervous, since they feel they should be taking multicoloured notes.

Good luck, and love the blog!


Canadian Economist said...

Amy! Thanks for the advice. Don't you have a 'chili pepper' rating? Impressive. Believe it or not, I suggested to my students that they get a four coloured pen, a calculator and a pocket protector if they want to be real economists! I don't think they took me seriously.

O'yeah, their first test is coming up! I will let you know how it goes ... Dan