Thinking of teaching as an act of love was extremely interesting, as I have always said that I want to teach because I love learning, and I want to share that with others. However, thinking of the banking concept vs problem posing education was also very thought provoking. I think it can be all too easy to slip into a mode where we believe we are solely the teacher and the student’s job is to get filled with knowledge, especially with standardized testing and assessments being so emphasized in our society.
I think of several professors, both in my past and those of classes my friends have been in, who didn’t seem to care about their students as human beings. They focused only on cramming information into brains and on data or tests as the only marker of progress. Those classes were extremely stressful and made me feel that I was not good enough no matter how much I was truly learning. Similarly, I never would have felt as a student that I could teach those professors anything.
In contrast, I have taken classes where the teachers were much more willing to engage in dialogues. I felt that as a student, I could ask questions for the sake of pure curiosity on the subject. They weren’t always questions that the professors knew, but especially in lab settings, we were able to research the question together, and I felt that the teacher was as dedicated to wanting to learn and find those answers as I was.
These differences have been able to change my entire outlooks on course materials; I have been discouraged from learning at all in classrooms where I have felt dehumanized, although I wasn’t able to identify that feeling at the time. This unit was a good reminder to always be committed to treating my students as humans, engaging them in dialogues, and always being prepared to learn myself, even as a teacher.