I always knew I wanted to teach. When I was in HS, I had the opportunity to work in a math classroom and support the teacher and I loved it. Additionally, the people who had the biggest impact on me were my teachers. They pushed me really hard to succeed and, ultimately, they helped me get into the University of Michigan. These experiences were really formative and inspired me to get into education.
I had a long college and grad school journey that involved switching majors, switching degrees, switching programs, moving across the country and so on; I even taught at a local prestigious college-prep HS in Denver for a year (don’t ask how I did this while still teaching at CU haha). Ultimately though, this journey led to me teaching classes for the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at CU Boulder. At the same time I was teaching classes in a variety of modalities, with various schedules, and on a variety of topics, and this got me interested in course design; anyone who cares about their teaching inevitably wants to know how to do it better, right?
This focus on course design has made me a better teacher. I became an advisor for other faculty when they were designing their courses and I became one of the few course designers at CU who also still teaches. This gives an informed approach both to my course design philosophy but also to my teaching philosophy. Then the COVID-19 Pandemic hit and I was one of the people helping faculty migrate their courses online in a hurry! I have given a number of talks on pedagogy and course design, and I’m currently focused on the impact of AI-generated content in an academic setting. As much as I love teaching, helping teachers teach seems like a way to help more students in the long-term, which is what has drawn me to this.
But don’t take my word for it, LET THE REVIEWS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES! Here is a link to my RateMyProfessor page (highest rated at CU!). Here is a link to my page on a site that does data visualizations for internal CU professor evaluations (although it looks like they’ve stopped updating the site). And here is a link to the University of Colorado’s FCQ database. If you search “Ostro, Christopher” here you can get the raw data from every semester I’ve ever taught at CU.
I hope to also post some of my syllabi here, for any interested parties.