Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Few Thoughts about Teaching

    I just found an old document on my computer which was a story about confrontations that teachers frequently experience. We've all heard, "Those that can, do, and those that can't teach." It's an old canard that seems to equate teaching with some sort of deficiency. I've had time to mull over the profession I have chosen and can say categorically that teachers "do". They write, the study, they create lectures and learn new technologies with which to enhance the learning experience. Moreover, most teachers "care". They care about their work, the profession, and most of all their students.

    I entered the teaching profession a long time ago and then went back to complete an education that I had left hanging (as it were) during the time I married and reared three children. In this, I am not unique. Interestingly, it was the problem I observed with my children's education in various places that led me to want to join the teaching profession to see if I could make a difference. I returned to school, acquired a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and a Doctorate – a Ph. D. What makes this story different is that my return to school to complete all that I'd missed took place when my children were "older" teens. Instead of being a 30 something Ph. D. student I was a 50 something Ph. D. student. Notwithstanding the age, I attempted to create a career path for me. My success is mixed but the point is that I am still learning and willing to learn to help others learn. Age, gender, illnesses all these have yet to stop me.

Today I completed the third of ten days of training for an exclusively online tutor position. I am still trying to learn new technologies so as to maintain contact with students and thus make difference. I find myself learning and enjoying the experience of the teachers who now instruct me and remind me how to be better at both teaching and encouraging students to take responsibility for their work.

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