For the Love of Teaching

5 July 2019
A tree filled with hanging books; students and professors gather in and around it
FROM LEFT: John Hoffman ’21; Stephanie Cox, Senior Lecturer in French; DJ Brooks ’20; Lucy Griswold ’22; Ephraim Benson ’21; Jack Rybarczyk ’22; Joey Silknitter ’22; Timothy Raylor, Professor of English; Molly Schwartz ’22

My professors aren’t just good at their jobs, they love them.

Lucas Demetriades

by Lucas Demetriades ’22

I’m nearing the end of my freshman year of college, and I feel like I finally have enough perspective to give an informed opinion on the professors here at Carleton.

Teaching matters a lot to me. Everyone has different learning styles; mine happens to place a lot of value on the relationships I build with those I get to learn from. Something that struck me about Carleton in particular was its U.S. News ranking for Best Undergraduate Teaching. I noticed that Carleton seems to top that list more often than not. Now, “objectively” ranking colleges and universities is an inherently flawed effort. Still, a set of surveyed participants consistently naming Carleton for this measure year after year meant that seeing the school as one of my best options was reasonably justified.

So what do I think, nearly one year into my own journey here? I totally believe the hype. Even having come in with pretty high expectations, I’ve found myself blown away.

It’s not just the quality of the teaching — clear, effective, engaging lectures, helpful and accessible office hours, and all that — that makes me feel like this is such a special place. It’s the quality of the people who do the teaching here. My professors aren’t just good at their jobs, they love them. Their intellectual vigor and love of challenging their students don’t just make classes easier to sit through, they make them outright fun.

I’m astounded at the fact that I spent a French class learning the language by speaking it with a visiting French artist, discussing original artwork with the creator himself. Or that I’ve gotten to sharpen my cinema analysis skills by screening Citizen Kane in a movie theater before discussing it in class. I’ve come to multiple office hour appointments to find my professor, smiling, with a written list of personalized suggestions and areas for improvement already waiting for me.

Anyone can lecture, and some can do it quite well. But to truly teach is a sort of art, and in that sense Carleton is full of artists.

Admissions blogger Lucas Demetriades chronicles his Carleton experience at