Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I like about ...teaching

I have been a teacher for most of my adult life. After graduation, I worked for a while as a researcher. However, when I got a post as teaching assistant and finally as teacher, I was hooked ... and that’s how I spent more than half of my life ... as a teacher, a professor in college.

So, what do I like about... teaching?

Well, the first thing that I like about it is ... the interaction with students. I like this chance to know another person deeper, to somehow participate in his/her entry into adult life. When I first started teaching I was only a few years older than my students because I was a new graduate then. So during my early years of teaching, I was practically just an older sister and friend to my students.

Of course as I continued teaching, the age gap between me and my students widened and I became not their older sister anymore but their aunt, or mom, or mentor, and friend of course.

I am happy to say that many of my students have remained as good friends up to this date. We still would get together sometimes. I get invited to some of the momentous events in their life, like weddings, birthdays, etc. Some of them have become my doctors too. Imagine that!

The other things I like about teaching are...
... preparing lessons and of course teaching or sharing them. I especially love teaching freshmen because they are always eager to learn and participate in their learning.
I also love teaching teachers themselves because we learn from each other so much

...the challenges involved. The question I always ask myself as I prepare for every lesson is – how do I present the lesson in such a way that students will participate in the learning process? This is always a challenge to me because I know that many students would rather just sit passively inside the classroom and let the teacher do all the work. However, this has never been the style for me. Even before the buzz word “student-centered learning” was coined, I was already involving my students in the learning process.

...the unlimited creativity. Imagine, as a teacher you have to talk, write, draw, tell stories, guide, coach, mentor, sometimes do a song and dance routine, role play,sometimes act as counselor, as psychologist, as banker, as arbiter,as stand-up comedian, as...anything that the situation calls for.

...the chance to do research

...the chance to make a difference in many people’s life. Imagine, there is always a new encounter every semester. Wow! For example, if one is teaching 4 courses in a semester and there are 40 students in each class, that’s 40 x 4 or 160 new students that you get to know. Wow! Double wow! Can you believe that, ... the possibility of making a difference to 160 lives every semester?
The possibility of making a difference and the responsibility involved is simply awesome!

Those are just some of the things I like about teaching. There are downsides too of course (like checking piles of papers) but this is not the forum of that.

Let us just concentrate of what we like about...things, about anything, in this blog.

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