Pros: quality teaching for everyone, good teacher-student ratio, nonelitist but efficient undergraduate programmes, superb settings
Cons: workspace limitation, a little fuzzy on personnel selection and promotion criteria.
I had the chance to work in a small but well organized Mathematics Department dedicated to the continuous development of the learning environment which by the programmes adopted, endeavoured the expansion of the employment opportunities for its graduates.
Every morning witnessed the presence on my desk of the memo note with the important upcoming departmental and university events. Mail and email check followed by a last review of the lesson plan were activities just before the first lecture or seminar-workshop class. Lunchtime in the cafeteria was always an occasion to informally reconnect with fellow teachers and students often sharing insights into our daily work. The time in between classes was filled with office hours for student help and guidance. The end of classes was followed by office work as replying to emails, providing student support through the Blackboard integrated learning environment
and insuring that the next day planning was up to date.
Teaching at Trent considerably improved my organisational and time management skills and enhanced my ability to teach mathematics to students from divers socio-economic backgrounds with different levels of prior education and learning styles.
I would say that the management was understaffed, the only secretary the Department had was serving in the Dept. of Economics as well, but her hard work and proactive attitude never occasioned any administrative slippage. The members of the Department proved to be outspoken and highly supportive with one another. I can't think of any hard part of my activity at Trent University, every duty being accomplished with joy and dedication.