The first time a new professor teaches a course, a lesson is always learned: sometimes by the students, always by the professor.
This is how the professor sees it. We stand in front of the class, confident and ready. We have spent years training in advanced scientific concepts. We have contributed to original research and scholarship. And we have the book—the textbook—for the course.
We advance to the blackboard with our chalk, or flip on our laptops containing our PowerPoint presentation, and begin. Things go fine for a few minutes or a lecture or two, and then a student asks, “Why?” (more…)