The Thursday before last I attended a meeting of the UCSB Academic Senate. There I stood, feeling rather stupid, in front of the assembly while the President of the Academic Senate read from a prepared text about my ability as a teacher pretty much roughly as follows:
Dr. Nicholas Tingle is a continuing lecturer in the Writing Program, and he has taught writing since 1980, before the Writing Program was even established. One of his supporters describes Nick as “a reflective teaching practitioner, as a gifted and supportive colleague, and as a wise, fair, and dedicated administrator.” Another states simply, “Nick is a supremely gifted teacher.”
A co-director of his program comments that “Nick has far exceeded expectations of lecturers whose primary duties are to teach nine courses per year,” noting that he “has regularly presented at all of the major conferences in our discipline, has published in the most important journals, and has published a number of important texts…”
Nonetheless, he adds, “it is in the area of teaching where Nick truly shines. Going into his fourth decade of service at UCSB, Nick has not merely rested on his well-deserved laurels as an excellent teacher; rather, he continues to think deeply about the interface between pedagogy, psychology and learning theory, in order to understand his role as a writing teacher, and to grow and evolve as a teacher”
One former student asserts the following of Dr. Tingle: “While being creative and entertaining, he was simultaneously the most efficient, organized, and effective teacher I have ever had.”
Finally, a letter from one of his former students speaks to Dr. Tingle’s impact in the classroom. The student writes, “the work that I completed in that course is the work I am most proud of from my years in college, as Nick encouraged us to explore and research a topic that we were passionate about. I think many of Nick’s students would agree that we got a better sense of who we are because of what Nick challenged us to do.”
For his dedication to teaching excellence Dr. Nicholas Tingle is awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations, Dr. Tingle!
Then Chancellor Yang, the head of UCSB, jumped up from his seat and insisted on posing next to me with the certificate awarded to A Distinguished Teacher, at which moment they following rather ridiculous picture (I look like Stan Laurel) was taken.
After Carol took another picture that I like better.
Then yesterday I was told that the picture with Yang is now featured on the UCSB Writing Program website. That’s pretty cool.