The fourth week of the quarter is over for me, and this is my favorite part of the term. Everyone has gotten into the homework routine, and they’re starting to know what I expect. I know all my students’ names. We haven’t (quite) gotten to midterms, so they’re not crazy stressed yet. And best of all they’ve started to trust me, which I begin to notice as they open up about things. A student recently talked to me about how he prefers the way I conduct classes, comparing me with his first-quarter Python instructor. Another made a funny joke in the comments of his assignment. A third told me about his horrible first experience programming in C++ at another institution. Every comment or joke they share with me makes me happy because it means they see that I care about them and that I want to hear what they have to say. This is the biggest joy of being a teacher, but it’s also the most elusive since there is no guarantee that I’ll connect with every group. But it only makes it that much sweeter when it does happen.

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