Testimonials from Students at the University of Western Australia:

1) Michael presented a warm and enthusiastic outlook, which was contagious.  He appeared very knowledgeable and struck a good balance between encouraging student discussion and sharing his own knowledge in order to enhance our understanding.

2) Despite leading a class of students who were totally clueless about religious/medieval history, Michael managed to guide discussion in such a way as to make every student feel as if their input was highly valued and original. He is certainly very adept at facilitating classroom discourse and I always walked away from his classes feeling like I had completely grasped key aspects of the learning area. He was also very accessible and willing to discuss any small point with students, no matter how inconsequential!

3) Where do I begin! I think Michael is a truly excellent teacher, and his enthusiasm for the content of the course and the history of emotions is infectious. He is one of the most approachable and considerate teachers I’ve ever had, and I could tell that he was genuinely invested in the learning experience of each student. I really admired how Michael encouraged free and open discussion of students’ ideas and opinions about the topics, while also gently correcting suggestions (‘amending’ may be a better term) which were not quite accurate, without devaluing the person’s contribution. There were a lot of very complex ideas contained in the subject matter, but I think that Michael managed to explain them exceptionally well – very clearly and concisely, with memorable examples (and the occasional diagram). I also appreciated how Michael encouraged students to try and move past their own preconceptions in order to understand the thoughts and feelings of the people we were studying and see things from their perspective. Michael was also very well-organised and his feedback was comprehensive and helpful.

4) Michael is professional, courteous, and constructive, much like this survey is asking me to be. He is enthusiastic and engaged with the work, and eager to translate that to his students. He was kind and generous with his time, and I felt that he really wanted his students to do well and enjoy themselves. I think he actually improved my essay writing with his feedback, which was nice.

5) Michael is very approachable. Seminars were run on a collegial basis rather than lecturer/student basis, but Michael was always quick to keep the conversation focused, or to challenge (nicely!) people’s views. He was concerned to ensure that the materials were available for each seminar. He was very willing to talk through essay questions- in fact he spent a lot of time giving feedback in different forms. The feed back we received on the first essay was awesome, more than I think we would usually get for a minor essay before the unit, so thank you for that, it was very helpful.

Testimonials from the University of Toronto:

1) He is an excellent TA who is knowledgeable and helpful, and a great asset to students. Any minor flaws are easily overlooked, and no doubt more a result of our general human condition than any great fault on his behalf. I would love to have him as a TA again in another course if I was given the option. Again, an exemplary teacher, and a fair grader, helpful and knowledgeable. He also has a good sense of humour and creates an air of relaxed friendliness that allows lessons to become more engaging.

2) One of my favorite TA’s this year, every tutorial was interesting and usually humorous in some way. I found discussions very helpful for understanding the readings and was I always excited to show up each week. Discussions were always lively and interesting and still managed to cover all the material. Couldn’t have asked for a better tutorial leader.

3) Michael is very enthusiastic about his area of study and that really shines through in his tutorials. I wish he were a bit more outspoken and took the lead a little bit more in the class, however at the same time his demeanour makes him very easy to talk to and allows for the students to take initiative. It was an enjoyable tutorial, and his use of examples was very effective and he definitely thinks outside the box. As a fourth year student I’ve had many TA’s and Michael has been very helpful, understanding and has done a very good with the material presented. I encourage him to keep up the good work and to not lose his passion for the subject.

4) Michael was probably one of the greatest TA’s I’ve ever had. He made going to tutorials highly enjoyable but also very educational. I felt his tutorials always helped me understand the lecture more. His attitude and personality made the lectures more fun as well and the fact that he allowed a lot of class discussion. Pretty much a perfect TA.

5) Michael is honestly the best T.A. I have ever had. … I really don’t know what else to say! Would make an awesome Prof.

6) Michael was an amazing TA! I’m not a morning person but I was genuinely excited to wake up for our 10AM HIS220 tutorials because he made the subject so enjoyable to learn about. I remember I accidentally slept through one of our tutorial meetings and I was so disappointed in myself that from then on I made sure to set two loud alarms on Thursdays just so it wouldn’t happen again. This tutorial was my favorite tutorial of all of my classes in my time here at U of T. I learned a lot and also had a good time! I think those are both essential parts of learning and Michael made sure we had a firm grasp on the material but also made us laugh. He also gave me great feedback on my papers and taught me how to improve them, both in his detailed notes and also in his office hours. He is a superb TA and his students are lucky to have him!

7) Mr. Barbezat not only functions effectively as a TA, I can easily see him functioning as an effective professor within the next few years. Excellent knowledge of the subject material, well-organized presentations, and a highly engaging presence in the classroom. Most of my understanding of the course matter comes from Mr. Barbezat, rather than through the professors. As a TA, he has gone well above and beyond the call of duty, and I wish him the best.

8) I am just finishing my second year at UofT but Michael is definitely one of my favourite T.A.’s so far. He was amazing at garnering a want to come to class and his enthusiasm for the course and the material really made me want to come to class and tutorial every week. He was amazing at replying to emails and meeting you with any questions. He is an amazing T.A.!

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