Smith Observation #2 Boyer Kelly .pdf

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Author: Kestrel

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Teaching Observation of
Michelle Boyer-Kelly
April 11, 2016
AIS 160A
Many Nations of Native America
GTA Lecture
Thank you for the opportunity to sit in on your lecture on April 11, 2016 entitled “Literary
Representations of American Indian Environments: Literature, Film, and Popular Culture.” The way
in which you started your presentation with a “Who I Am” slide and a "Why Research Lit and Film?"
slide was beneficial to the class as a whole, as it helped to acquaint those students who are not in
your regular Friday sections with who you are as a scholar and why your topic is important for them
to know about. I greatly appreciated how you explained the relevancy of your topic in terms of the
larger mainstream American population and provided your students with a basic understanding of
how literature and movies provide this majority of the citizenry with their main “understanding” and
images of Native peoples, and how this contributes to the continuation of stereotypes about them.
One of the first things I noticed about your teaching style was your ability to engage your
100+ students despite the auditorium-styled classroom from the very beginning of class to the very
end. I felt that the way you posed questions directly to the class as a whole enabled students to feel
less like a blank face in the crowd and more like individuals that had something to contribute to the
class. One of the ways that I observed this was in the speed and consistency that your students tended
to raise their hands in response to your questions – this kind of response can be a very difficult thing
to achieve in such a setting.
The organization of your presentation felt smooth and logical throughout the entire class, as
you first presented students with a timeline of the eras that you were going to be discussing,
explained how they relate to each other, and then addressed each one individually with examples and
proficient explanations for each. Providing video clips as examples of films made in each era was
helpful to the students because it provided them with visual and audio aids to comprehending the
material. The way in which you presented students with questions to think about prior to watching
the films helped prepare students to think about the way in which they should be analyzing the
material they are about to observe. Your follow up of these questions in relation to the film clips was
a nice way to gauge student acquisition of material and to engage students more with you and the
presentation as a whole.
Overall I was greatly impressed by the organization of the class and the level of student
involvement throughout. Thank you again for the opportunity to observe your class and teaching
Best Wishes,
Kestrel A. Smith
Doctoral Student
American Indian Studies
University of Arizona

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