So, outside my student life, I actually have time to be in contact with non-students. Other grad students in the engineering college will know why that is a shock. But today, one such friend, an English teacher, emailed me an interesting statement. This is not from some book or “expert” on education, but a front-line participant in the public school system.
“This year I feel like I have finally found a balance of what is making me happy, is researched-based, and is producing well-rounded happy readers. Only took 15 years. But the exciting thing about teaching is that evolves through the years, so I will continue to change as well. Keep that in mind as you create a path to instructing. I really thought that I would create a formula that I could use over each year. No year is ever the same because instruction is modified to meet the needs of learners that I have. “
I won’t attribute the quote as I should because that would invade the friend’s privacy more than I already have (and when he/she reads this I may be in trouble). But the core of the thought is something that resonates with me. This journey that I am on to learn everything I can about teaching is never-ending. I can take the classes and get the degree and have the credentials to land the job, but as a professor, I still need to be a life-long learner. I still need to critique and analyze my own performance within the context of the evolving student to be the best I can be. Thank you, friend, for your insight.