Thursday, April 20, 2006

Teaching -- so, who did we hire??

The identity of the person still needs to remain confiential -- and I wouldn't put their name here anyway --- kind of ruins the psuedonymous nature of the blog, no??

Let me describe the person we hired... along the way you'll see why I'm exicted this person will be permanent faculty.... even when it looks likely that I'll move on sooner or later -- I'm happy to leave Prof X on the faculty behin me...

Prof X is someone who charmed the committee from the start. They brought in an interesting artifact and used it to lead a discussion that was their teaching demonstration. During the discussion they asked basic questions and responded to our answers in such a way as to guide the lesson. We felt that prof X respected us and valued our input as learners.

Prof X is well-educated (I saw the transcripts, they have a PhD) but does not seem to think that BNCC is somehow beneath them. They seem to really love teaching students. We may manage to beat that out of poor Prof X in the next few years, but I have a feeling that they will be pretty resiliant.

Prof X has a love of philosophy and a love of students so strong that they started a philosophy club at their current CC. Stuffed-shirt candidate mentioned philosophy clubs as a way to connect with students, but I worried that he'd make it into a chance to pontificate. Prof X said that the students pick the topic and that they bring coffee and act as the intellectual bouncer, keeping the conversation on track. I have a feeling that this is the way Prof X's classes go as well, except that Prof X picks the topic.

Prof X, when asked about professional development had an answer that told us a couple of things, a) their graduate program didn't focus on teaching, but b) that they had taken advantage of opporutnities presented in the last year to improve their teaching. They went on to discuss these in some detail and with great enthusiasm. Prof X had to be prodded to mention that they had also become Dr. Prof X in the last year... it really HAD slipped their mind.

Prof X had great answers to the "how do you deal with different levels in the classroom" and "how do you deal with parts of the class not doing well" questions. Prof X's weakest answer was about technology, but it turns out that others had the same answer... and, in all reality, teaching philosophy works well with a white board -- and often not as well with PowerPoint.

Prof X also had excellent answers to the most rewarding experience question and the most challenging experience question. Both answers showed hoe much they love students and how they really reflect on teaching as an activity.

Prof X tried hard not to brown-nose us when asked about why they want to teach at BNCC. I also think that telling us that his family enjoys living in the area is different than the "I want to move to the area of BNCC" kinds of answers... his answer shows a lack of wanting to disrupt the family, while the others are looking for a reason to come here for personal or recreational/social reasons... we are just a convenient avenue.

Overall --- I want to congratulate Prof X on getting the job -- I can't wait to have you on campus and to work with you to build a good solid philosophy program. With Wise Woman, myself, logic guy and you we'll make a formidable team.

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