“The debate between different perspectives on human nature, society, justice, etc. caused me to go to grad school and become a professor.”
“Class is usually quite noisy, as students within groups argue with each other excitedly in preparation and then watch others’ presentations intently, looking for mistakes. I use student-centered learning, and though I do end up talking, it’s usually in reaction to questions students have or claims they’re making.”
“I come from a context where women are not supposed to have that calling, and I wonder if I went into higher ed in the first place because it was a way to scratch that itch for connecting with people around big ideas. Funny thing about self-knowledge, right?”
“While I have my library degree, I’m planning on going back for my PhD in Education Psychology and Methodolgy. I want to study learning disabilities related to writing, and hopefully create a better understanding.”
“It’s hard not to think about leaving. […] Money is tight, morale is low, and the future looks bleak. I’m staying (for now) in part because I’m a chicken and changing careers after tenure is scary. But mostly I’m staying for my students.”
“In my courses I want students to analyze their own beliefs about language and culture as well as the way cultural norms and stereotypes inform our interactions with others. If nothing else, I want them to walk away with a better understanding of their own beliefs and the way they express them to others.”
My students teach me to be a better teacher. Their questions, their points of confusion, their failures all prompt me to reflect on the intent and design of my courses.
I’m not going to give up, though – because kids only get one chance to go through the schooling system and that chance needs to be fair for all.
I work with GPs [general practitioners] to improve the evidence behind the way they diagnose and monitor patients. For example, it’s important that we know how accurate the different measurements doctors (or patients!) make are.
The thing that makes it possible to teach the same material or courses year after year is that the students are different every time. I’m very lucky to have students from all over the world with incredibly wide-ranging views and life experiences. They make every day interesting for me and they also help to teach each other by bringing such contrasting perspectives into the classroom.