Ash Parameswaran is a professor in the School of Engineering Science and one of three recipients of SFU’s 2011 Teaching Excellence Awards. In the 3-1/2 minute video above, he talks about the importance he attaches to teaching and the way his interactions with students have changed over the years.
One interesting reflection recalls the insecurity he felt as a young instructor.
“Initially, although I had the passion to teach and engage the students, … I was extremely defensive,” he says. “In the class a student would ask a question and I would find it extremely difficult to handle that. It appeared almost as if the student was questioning me rather than questioning the subject.”
Gradually, he came to understand that questions are learning opportunities rather than attacks, and he incorporated them into his lectures: “I’ve started to make the student ask the question to me. I say, ‘Look, you ask the question.’ This way we both are engaged.”
In the video interview he also describes his unexpected feelings while visiting a former student in Saudi Arabia, along with the origin of his passion for teaching.
Watch this video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJgb-B2Fs5c
Learn more about Parameswaran by visiting his faculty profile page: www.ensc.sfu.ca/people/faculty/ash_parameswaran.html