This weekend I got word that I won a teaching award at my university. This is a 'little' teaching award, but nevertheless a nice one. The 'big' teaching awards involve being nominated by one's department and then being selected by a committee. Three of my male colleagues have won this award, but no women have even been nominated. My 'little' award is an annual award for Best Professor, voted by the students. I've won it 3 times in the past 9 years, and it is always thrilling.
A few years ago when my department chair was trying to decide whether he should put me forward for promotion to full professor, he showed my CV and ancillary materials (teaching evaluations) to two senior faculty. One of them, a Research Superstar, told me later that he was 'stunned' to discover that I am an excellent teacher, and he recommended that the chair nominate me for one of the big teaching awards. He never did, but perhaps eventually my colleagues will have to recognize that I am a good teacher.
Regarding my little teaching award that was just announced, one colleague has already asked me why I thought I won this award. Well, I don't know exactly, but if anyone is wondering whether I give all A's and never assign homework and bring home-baked cookies to class every day: nope. I just teach as best I can and I care a lot about it.
9 months ago