Sunday, October 10, 2010

What makes a good teacher?

I am taking a Kellogg course called Financial Decisions, taught by Professor Artur Raviv. This course uses case studies to reinforce the fundamentals of Finance we learned through the basic finance courses. Professor Raviv is truly outstanding; I finally feel that I am understanding not just how to compute the numbers, but understand how to interpret them, and use them to make decisions.

So after one particularly great class, I started thinking about what have been the common traits of Professors that I have really learned from? A few things came to mind:

1. Entertaining: Two professors that come to mind in particular are Professor Hennessy and Professor Sawhney. Both have a knack of cracking timely jokes, and thus keep the class very engaged and energized.

2. Simplistic : Professor Raviv exemplifies this - he explains potentially complex financial concepts in a simplistic manner, helping one gauge the intuition behind the concept.

3. Enthusiastic: If you are going to try to get students interested in your subject, you better be enthusiastic yourself. Professor Busse was a prime example - she taught the Business Strategy class to my section, and I have been enthusiastic about the subject since.

4. Experts in their field: Professor Galinsky was quite the expert on organizational behavior and leadership. One typical way he used to begin sentences was "Research has shown that...."

5. Concerned about students: I remember Professor Sawhney's introductory remarks in the Technology Marketing Class. He asked "Why are you guys here for a Kellogg MBA?" We replied - to learn, to expand our way of thinking etc. He said, "You are here to get a better job, and start a better career. I don't measure how successful I am by how students rate me on evaluations. Instead, if you can tell me that you learned something here that helped you get a job, or do better in your job, I will be happy."

No comments:

Post a Comment