I love discussing the great political science questions with students. For example: "What is politics? Why do we care about it?". I always enjoy introducing new political science students to the concepts of collective choice and collective action. Even for upper-division students I strive to emphasize the great core concepts of the discipline in all our discussions.
Students today are very analytical. In my experience, they appreciate learning about analytical theories and being taught how to critically evaluate scholarly research. They especially love learning how to design their own compelling research projects. My proudest teaching accomplishment was having the students who took the seminar I designed and taught tell me how valuable they found the introduction to research design I provided. One student, for example, when asked in the course evaluation what s/he found most valuable about the seminar, wrote: "I learned how to create my own research project as well as my own research design. I have never done something like this before."
Courses I Have Taught
Political Coalition Change in the 1960s. As a part of a year-long general education course about politics and culture in the 1960s, I designed and taught a seminar for 22 students that addressed coalition change in the 1960s. The seminar syllabus is here. My median instructor rating from the student evaluations for this seminar was "very high" (the highest response category).
Courses I Have TA'ed For
Introduction to American Politics (Winter 2008)
The Presidency (Fall 2006, Winter 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008)
Congress (Winter 2006)
Mass Media and American Politics (Spring 2006)
Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (Fall 2005 and Spring 2007)
I am proud of my consistently high teaching evaluations from students. Here is a plot of my mean and median scores in response to the prompt asking for "your overall rating of the teaching assistant/instructor":