This quarter, in a last-minute bid for employment, I accepted two 25% TA positions. That means that I'm basically a glorified reader for each class; I grade papers but I don't hold sections. On the one hand, it's been nice not to have to plan sections. On the other, I miss the concentrated interaction with students.
Tonight I guest-taught one of the classes, on the topic of technology, pollution, and garbage. It's a 100-student class, with about 50-60 students showing up on any given week. Usually only about 10 students participate, but tonight we had some great discussions, with maybe 20-25 students contributing, and with lots of students coming up afterward to thank me for a nice session.
How energizing. And what a pleasant change from Glorified Reader. It reminded me that dammit, I'm good at this undergraduate education thing. Being raised by teachers helps.
If only the hiring committees could see me in action. I really do teach well, but I don't come across spectacularly on paper.