I am reading through my teaching evaluations from last year.
I have to say, I am truly touched and appreciative of the students I have had.
Needless to say, there are some negatives that I need to work on, but I wanted to share some of the added comments that really touched me and some of my thoughts.

"This class pushed what I thought were my limits of the amount of material I could learn. I was initially intimidated, but I learned that I could handle a lot more than I realized. The instructor did not take it easy on us but lovingly pushed us to learn more than we thought we could, and I have never been more grateful." – With the pedagogical foundation provided by Dr. Russell and his enthusiasm, I think this was easy to do. But, I genuinely want my students to do well, not just in my class, but as citizens of the world.

"-he really seemed to care about helping us in our careers after Miami. I appreciate that he focused on some of the more minor, yet important, skills, such as recording data/writing ebird checklists. I also appreciated that he pushed us not to jump to conclusions in our bird identifications. While it was sometimes frustrating when he had us check our identification of, say a robin, I think in the long-run this is a good skill and it made me think more critically about what the key field characteristics of a robin actually are." – As scientists, it can be easy to overlook the little things when we feel we know the material. I had to keep reminding myself when teaching my students and the best way to do this is to ask clarifying questions.

"TA provided safe/fun/engaging space for learning about birds and life. Leno was always there for us on course material, as a mentor, and as a good person. One of the best." – This one means alot to me, because this past year has been a dark one for some students and knowing that my classroom is "safe" is of the utmost importance.

"This has been my favorite class of my college career." – 🙂 no, seriously 🙂

"Leno was always available for not only class help, but also general career advice and insight from his long career in the sciences. Never had a TA that I thought so highly of." – This I think was the hardest earned comment. As a Graduate student, husband and father, my time is extremely limited, but I feel all teachers, professors and instructors should go into teaching with a strong commitment to be there for their students.

"Leno had a great attitude towards our course work and us students. He was also open to our questions and enjoyed cracking jokes to make the class period fly by." – so, only one student mentioned my jokes… Do I have to make more next time??

"very approachable and enthusiastic about biology. made the class fun and interesting. his course was one of the reasons l am switching my major to biology" – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

I hope you all enjoyed these and I want to remind you to fix the negative and hold on to the positive as you teach with kindness and science hard.

Ancilleno Davis, AA; BSc; MSc
Twitter: @ancilleno
Founder/Coordinator – BEINGS
Director At Large – BirdsCaribbean

Every student needs someone who says, simply, "You mean something. You count." -Tony Kushner, playwright (b. 16 Jul 1956)