Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On teachers and teaching expectations

Recently I had a depressing conversation with someone who went back to school, with the goal of getting a new job in a different field.

She was saying how she felt like it wasn't worth the money at all, and the quality of teaching at her school was very disappointing. 

She came from a background in an education field, so although I've never seen her teach, I could understand her frustration. It's always hard when you've put a lot of effort into learning how to do something, like teaching, and then you're stuck in a situation where you're paying for someone to do it to you, and badly. 

I imagine this must be what it's like for former hairdressers to get a bad haircut. 

At the same time, I was struck by how she didn't seem to have any skills for self-instruction. She wasn't good at searching the internet, or reading example material that I thought was very clear, and she didn't seem to make good use of other people who had offered to help her. 

I was thinking back to how I learned all of these skills, mostly during grad school. In some ways, self-teaching is the most valuable thing I got out of doing research. 

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At 12:07 PM, Blogger canadahauntsme said...

Dear YFS,
I’ve been quietly following your blog for several years now, but with the recent gamergate mess I feel compelled to reach out to you. As a man who has undergone a graduate degree in electrical engineering I can't begin to understand what you go through as a woman in science, but I have found your writing very inspiring and have found myself checking your blog regularly to see if you have posted anything new. No one in my profession wishes to be labeled a sexist, but I honestly see discrimination every day even now after having moved beyond graduate school. I know we could all could use more education on the obvious discrepancy between the treatment of women in the workplace (myself included), and so I want to thank you for writing about your experiences publicly.
Best regards,

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

thanks, jd! That's really nice to hear. :) Much appreciated.


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