**i like teaching small classes**. this is in contrast to how i am teaching, this term. in each section of multivariable calc, this fall, i have at least 70 students. when i administer a midterm exam, there are 150+ exams to grade.

then again, those are logistics. they are part of teaching, but there are other parts to talk about.

it's hard to say whether i am any better or worse at reading faces than other instructors. however, it is very hard to read the faces of a large crowd and determine their aggregate perspective about what you just said and ..

whether they understood you,

and if not, whether you should repeat what you said,

or whether you should draw a better diagram.

also, it unnerves me to talk to a student who i recognise (because (s)he sits in the upper right area of the classroom) but where i don't know her/his name. maybe it's possible to learn 100+ new names, every term, but for me, it's not easy.

## 2 comments:

Here, every class from Calc I to Diff. Equ. is 55 students. Since I have 2 such classes this semester, I can relate to your post. Students have told me they don't expect me to learn their names, and I don't/can't since I only use their names when I hand back exams. I recognize most, but some who come to class less than regularly, I fail to recognize. But even some who sit in the corner go unrecognized. In fact, when I give an exam, I require photo ID's so I can take attendance and check for fraud. I prefer smaller classes, say 25 max, where learning is aided by stronger student/teacher interaction AND student/student interaction. Few, if any, students know more than two other people in the class and often fail to appreciate the common struggle to learn the new material, missing out on study group opportunities and the like.

But even some who sit in the corner go unrecognized.

Few, if any, students know more than two other people in the class and often fail to appreciate the common struggle to learn the new material,

true, all too true. so many problems, so little time and energy.

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