Brokk Toggerson nominated for UMass Distinguished Teaching Award!

This semester, Brokk Toggerson has been nominated for the UMass distinguished teaching award for the second year in a row. The distinguished teaching award is only awarded to one faculty member each year, can only be won once in a lifetime, and is the only teaching award at UMass for which students are the only possible nominators. Heath Hatch, another of the P131 team, has already won this award.

Personnel Leadership – It is a thing!

As we wrap up another semester, I am, as is usual for this time of year, thinking about what went wrong and what went right this past semester. I will say that a lot of things have gone very well this semester. My students have exceeded my expectations which is a great feeling. I have even checked with colleagues to see that my expectations have not been slowly changing to “easier” over time. Now, if I could just figure out what we did right so we could replicate it…

One thing that continues to be at the forefront of teaching in a class of 6 sections, 3 instructors, 16 graduate-student TAs, 2 undergraduate graders, 1 undergraduate Supplemental Instruction leader, and 2 undergraduate ExSEL program tutors is keeping everyone on the same page and focused on the same goal – all while not micromanaging.

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Something to think about: Aspects of learning physics

One of the reasons that I love this work is that I am continually learning. My students are always forcing me to thing about physics more deeply and in new ways. In the past few weeks, I have come to a new way of articulating what all I am expecting my students to learn in my class. I do not claim that these ideas are in any way new; I am simply articulating these ideas for myself. In this paradigm, there are at least three aspects of learning physics:

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