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Teaching is good for the soul

I’m serving as a guest lecturer in one of SI’s undergraduate courses this week, and teaching is shaking up my week nicely.  I haven’t taught in a classroom regularly since the fall of 2006, and I was eager to get back into the classroom.  This week’s topic in the course is “The Business of Information and Information in Business,” and I spent most of today’s lecture introducing the concepts of marginal costs, non-rival demand, scarcity, elasticity, and a few pricing models.  I’m not quite sure how to articulate my appreciation for introductory courses like the one I’m guest lecturing in this week.  I’ve also been working on statements about teaching for a couple of faculty jobs for which I am applying, and I’m sure search committees think I’m crazy for claiming to like teaching intro courses.  Even when the material is not the heart of my interest, like the information economics stuff I talked about today, I love being able to introduce material to students.  The curiosity newcomers have for fundamental concepts makes the concepts so much more fun to teach.  Sure, it’s nice to dive into advanced material with experienced students, but there’s nothing like watching the light go on for someone understanding something, whether it be “demand elasticity” or “social capital,” for the very first time.  That happens so often in intro courses!  Seeing students get interested helps renew my own energy, and it’s with that renewed energy that I can (re-)tackle the methods section of my dissertation today.

So, what do you think ?

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