2013/11/17 in Acclaim
I’m LiuZiyi from School of Software Engineering of Chongqing University. I’m also one of the students from Alex Detmering’s Literature and Morality
class. Actually I plan to amplify his shortcomings in this letter so maybe you won’t want him and he has to return here and continue his class… That’s a joke. He really is the best English teacher I had ever seen.
His was most infectious and approachable. College classes in China are more infectious the other way. No matter how strong your will is, the teacher can always drives you to sleep. However, it’s totally different in Alex’s class. We never feel sleepy or want to do something else. His voice is very loud and attractive, and he has rich body languages to make his thoughts conveyed. With eyes and ears all focused on what he is doing and talking about, we are fully absorbed in the class.
He has great skills in teaching. Here are what he uses to teach us.
- Interest. As he believes that interest can act as the best teacher in learning, he always has some great interesting topics for us. It works! Once, we were all confused about one of his viewpoints and the bell rings to signify the finish of the class. We then voluntarily give up lunch time to listen to his explanations. That’s rather rare in China. But that happens because we are really interested in his topic.
- Detailed and vivid explanation. As our class is about morality, we often face some rather sophisticated concepts and questions. What is morality? What is Why do you think conformity happens? Is there any solutions towards war? We had vague knowledge of these concepts and questions, but he was able to make all of us understand at last. He cares if we really understand. He always ends his speech by “do you understand what I’m saying?”
- Make the students talk. In the very first class, he climbed onto the desk and sat on the edge of it. Smiling, he looked around the classroom and said: come on, say something, let me know what do you think. He ensures everyone has a chance to express their own thoughts. That on the one hand keeps us focused and interested and on the other hand pushes the class to go on smoothly.
And that’s about all what I want to comment on Alex’s performance as a teacher. I really hope he can stay here. I’m sure he will be a great teacher in your school. If you have doubts about his ability, I suggest that you give him a chance to teach a class and see what he can do. That certainly will convince you of his talents in teaching.