Summer Teaching

Instructorship, SUNY: Stony Brook University, Department of Mathematics, 2019

In addition to being a teaching assistant during regular semesters, I also served as an instructor for the Mathematics Department at Stony Brook University during summer semesters of the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. My duties included the following.

  • Syllabus development,
  • Lecturing,
  • Proctoring examinations,
  • Creating homeworks in addition to exams,
  • Producing solutions for homeworks and examinations,
  • Holding office hours,
  • Weekly one-on-one tutoring at the Mathematics Learning Center, and/or grading depending on the number of students enrolled in the class.

My approach has typically been to incorporate mini-sessions of problem practice during the lecture so that students could solidify their freshly acquired knowledge. I do also make sure to always offer my students review sessions before the examinations in order to give them an opportunity to revisit their areas of weakness before being tested. Additionally, I always offer my students two weekly problem sets: A and B. Problem set A is a set of five mandatory homework problems, while problem set B is a set of optional practice problems meant to help the students learn the course material better. I have found this to be particularly helpful insofar as to aid the students in progressing throughout the fast-paced summer courses. Sometimes, problem sets B were also used as a source of extra credit in order to support students who struggled more with the course material and needed to work harder. The exams were always of a difficulty level ranging from the types of problems on problem set A to the types of problems on problem set B, and they always contained either a bonus problem, or a choice between problems (e.g. choosing between problems 5 or 6).

I have been an instructor for the following courses.

I also worked as a grader only for the following courses.

Instructor Feedback highlights:

Each semester, students are asked to submit evaluations of their teachers which can then be accessed through https://stonybrook.campuslabs.com/faculty/ or https://classie-evals.stonybrook.edu/. Unlike the regular semester teaching evaluations in which the reviews that are occasionally meant for the TAs are mixed with those meant for the main instructor, the ones for summer semesters are exclusively about the instructor. Therefore, these are more meaningful as far as the teaching capabilities of the summer instructor. Quantitatively, my key letter grade was “A” for every summer during which I taught. The students are asked three questions for the qualitative assessment:

  • What is your reason for taking this course?
  • What, if anything, did you find most valuable about this course?
  • In what ways, if any, could the course be improved?

Below, I collect feedback which is not generic and speaks to my teaching abilities, my teaching style and my personality as a teacher – from the perspective of a studnet. (I am also including feedback that was somewhat funny.)

  • Summer II 2016:
    • What, if anything, did you find most valuable about this course?
      • “The homework problems and review problems are helpful and the textbook is very helpful as well.”
      • “The most helpful part of the course were El Mehdi’s mini review session throughout the lecture. He would write a book problem on the board and try to have us solve it on our own. Afterwards he would walks us through the problem. It helped new material sink in quicker than if El Mehdi just lectured the entire class.”
      • “The professor was lively and made Calculus very enjoyable.”
  • Summer I 2017:
    • What, if anything, did you find most valuable about this course?
      • “The instructor was approachable and attempted to meet each student’s deficits uniquely.”
      • “Professor is a great guy”
      • “The instructor gave clear definition and good examples which help students understand the materials more easily.”
      • “Thoroughness of proofs and proof writing”
  • Summer II 2018:
    • What, if anything, did you find most valuable about this course?
      • “Amazing Teacher”
      • “The teachers connection with the students. He did a great job!”
  • Summer II 2019:
    • In what ways, if any, could the course be improved?
      • “No ways I can think of! The course was very valuable and the instructor was very helpful.”