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WHEN THE DEAN OF YOUR DEPARTMENT COMES KNOCKING.

  • In discussing teacher evaluations we might have  forgotten one method of an important facet of evaluating instructors. At Macomb Community College, in Roseville Michigan, I taught my specialty course Social Problems to many students over a two year period. One of the rules in the sociology department, is a visit from the Dean, of the social science department to your course without notice.

    As I have written in other blogs, my classes our uniques, because of how I bring a little of life's reality into my classroom. After showing a video on the problems of giving medication to ADHD children, I began a classroom discussion with all of my students. I usually taylor each unit of the course, by starting with a video, and then we try and apply sociology concepts to that section of  the course. Each student has their individual opinion and we develop a sociological analysis into each section. I try to engage each and every student so no one is left out.

    So on a sunny day in walks the dean with a leagal pad and sits in the back. At that point the class was engaged in a discussion of  the problems of medicalization, and the dean was sitting there just listening. As we moved along, I decided to involve the Dean in our classroom activity, to see if he could add an interesting perspective to the discussion. Low and behold the Dean and a few students began sharing back and forth their ideas about Riddlin and using this drug as a way to control students with ADHD. As the discussion picked up, the Dean got up and left the class room, and I was rehired for another semester and a year. So I agree with Melissa that we must engage students in all aspects of college life whether it is The Dean doing an evaluation, or the traditional student evaluation. So the question you might ask is was I nervous or not? Of course I was and stumbled a bit, when I asked the Dean to interact in our sociological interaction.

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