Why I teach

As I move into summer session 1, and the three courses I’m teaching over the next eight weeks, I am reminded of how much I love this job. Really, I am so lucky to have this gig. Even though the pressures can be overwhelming at times, it’s nothing compared to what medical doctors do, or what firefighters, or social workers, or elementary school teachers do for that matter. Most of the stress I have is self inflicted, and it centres around writing and publishing–not teaching. No, teaching allows me to try on new ideas and to create new ways of thinking. I get to work with energetic and smart people all of whom want to learn. Reading and thinking are mandatory. Do you understand why I like this work? I get paid to read, talk, learn and share!

If you are a teacher, it would be great to hear what motivates you. My teaching statement is below, and it illustrates why I’m excited about the next two months.

My Motivation for Teaching & Learning

My teaching philosophy is rooted in my own enjoyment of discovery. I make several assumptions based on these personal sentiments: Learning is fun; learning is active; learning is personal; and, learning is collaborative.

There are four objectives that guide the way I approach teaching and learning facilitation, whether the course has 280 students in it, or eight, and whether the class meets in a virtual environment or in face-to-face classroom. These objectives are as follows:

  • I want students to leave the course feeling as if they have fulfilled the learning objectives set out at the beginning of the term. These objectives are determined by: myself and based on my understanding of the discipline, field and area of inquiry; my colleagues; and the students themselves
  • I want the students to experience the joy of inquisition and seeking new knowledge
  • I want the students to learn to question, think and solve
  • I want each student to experience his or her own voice


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2 thoughts on “Why I teach”

  1. What do you want from each course for you, yourself? I want students to change a bit from each course I teach — but then, I want me (myself) to be changed just a bit by interacting with each new group of students. Patty

    1. Good question! I’ve been thinking about it, and haven’t come up with anything too profound. I want to grow, too, and I feel that’s inevitable. I want to learn, and I want to improve. I want to have fun and be reminded that I chose the correct path.

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