After serving as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for PS0835 Hamilton, my eyes have been opened to how to lead an engaging and enriching college course. In guiding me through the process of creating a lesson, Dr. Andrew Lotz has helped me understand what works with a group of students and what does not. Not only was I able to learn how to present information in ways that would be engaging and how to formulate open ended questions that would guide the discussion, but I was able to see a behind the scenes look into how Dr. Lotz approaches teaching. Dr. Lotz is so passionate about the topics that he teaches that it is infectious, and you cannot help but get drawn into the discussion; he gave me the advice to be confident in my instruction because I know what I am talking about, and as a result, I was not afraid to show my passions in guiding the class on gender relations. It was incredibly rewarding seeing the students engage with these materials and topics in a way that mirrored my interest, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to interact with other students in this format as we were able to have a very in-depth and enriching discussion.
I also have greatly appreciated the ability to work with students on an individual basis in helping them formulate an original project that connects the class with their own interests. In getting to connect with my assigned group of 6 students, I was not only able to push them but also to push myself to consider things I had previously not engaged with. I have helped students create lessons plans utilizing Hamilton to teach on the elementary and high school levels, I have engaged in analyzing what Hamilton would think of the increasing use of Presidential Executive Actions, I have considered the possibility of romantic relations between Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens as compared to James Buchanan and his lover, and I have looked at how Hamilton’s beliefs intersected with the issue of sustainability and the effects still being felt today. Just as they have been able to learn from me and my input, I have been able to learn from them, and this is something that I have never truly understood until this experience. This mutual learning and desire for excellence has been a very valuable part of my CUTF experience.
As I mentioned in my first blog post, I had been considering pursuing the option to serve as an adjunct professor either later in my legal career or following it, and this desire has only been intensified as a result of this fellowship. After talking with Dr. Lotz and getting a taste of what it is like to lead a classroom, my passion for education (both with regards to my continued education but also educating others) has only been furthered through this experience of completing my Chancellor’s Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship.