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Saturday, April 30, 2016

What Does Being A Teacher Mean To Me

What Does Being A Teacher Mean To Me

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A teacher pointing at you.

Teacher.  What does the word teacher mean?

The word "teach" derives from the Old English word tæcan which means to show, point out, or give instruction. In 1290, the word teacher began to be used for the index finger, or "one that points out". By 1300, it took on its modern meaning, or "one who teaches". 

I have being teaching for about twenty years, since graduate school.  I would like to say, that I know how to share, with you all how to be an effective teacher.  There are so many great educators in various colleges all over the world.

There are so many different styles of teaching.  And that is what I feel each teacher has to find, is their own voice, their special way to teach.

There are some common elements that effective teachers share, the ability to reach their students, care about their students and the subject they are teaching, challenge their students to seek knowledge, foster an environment that both students and teacher can learn in and have a personality that each student will remember for the rest of their lives.  Being at ease with one’s self and have the confidence to be open with who you are with your students, can have an effect on them.

Whatever class I teach I have a philosophy that I hope students will remember all after they have graduated.  They may forget one some facts over time, however when they hear new music or music they have never heard before, they can remember philosophy understand it.
Since I teach large selections, I get many waves and hellos from many current and former students when I go out about town.  A few times while traveling I get hellos as well.   When this happens, I know that in some way that I have made an impact on them.  Out of all of the classes they have taken, they remember my class and want to say hello. 

From time to time, I get emails or phone calls from former students.  They share with me that one part of a lecture, some hands on assignment or a pep talk after class has helped them on their careers.  Hearing from them, that in a small way something I taught, has helped them, is only a feeling of joy and satisfaction that only a teacher can know.

Today with all of the technology, making a connection is vital for any teacher.  Have students connect to their humanity to understand how precious life is and to learn empathy and tolerance for others in this high tech world can be trying at times.  As a teacher I respect each student. I respect the material that I cover in class.  In return my students respect me and the subjects that I cover.

I challenge my students every day in class.  With every lecture, discussion, or group work, I challenge them to learn and research topics that they discover in my classes.  Also I ask my students to talk to old people to reality learn about the past.  When students talk to someone from that time period, often their parents, grandparents or great grandparents, they learn that many things are similar.

teacher must challenge themselves as much or more than their students.   After I teach a class, I ask myself did I effectively cover the material.  Some days I do better.  On the days that I didn't, I reflect and work on ways how to cover that subject better.  Happily as I get older as a teacher, I to do this less and less.  Perhaps I’m getting to understand more about teaching in my maturity.   

I challenge my students.  I never ask students to something I would do, so I challenge myself.  I challenge myself in my creative pursuits, in service to the community and the university and also to be the best teacher that I can be.

In many ways, if you are not learning as much as your students are in your classroom, you are not growing as a teacher.  I plan to continue to grow as a teacher for many more years.

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What Does Being A Teacher Mean To Me

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