New Teaching Academy Members
My inspiration for teaching comes first and foremost from my students. As a teacher educator, many of my classes focus on preparation for teaching and the majority of my students hope to one day become a classroom teacher or university professor. Working with, watching and helping students as they prepare for a teaching career gives me a great sense of fulfillment and inspiration for doing what I do.
Music in an incredible force that brings people together. My students can impact our society by using their artistry as an instrument of change. Being a mentor during their journey allows me to see a glimpse of what is yet to come.
I teach accounting. More specifically, I teach tax accounting. On the first day of class, most of my students perceive this subject as simultaneously intimidating and mind-numbing. Dispelling this myth is my duty and my passion as a teacher. Gail Godwin wrote, "Good teaching is 1/4 preparation and 3/4 theatre." I rehearse my lines, practice my blocking, and try to put on a damn good show for my students.
I am inspired to teach accounting students because the topic is not only somewhat dry, but also extremely confusing. I therefore find teaching accounting extremely challenging, yet rewarding, to try and communicate essential knowledge in a more understandable manner. I am especially inspired to provide a classroom environment where students feel important and respected as I attempt to encourage them to strive for subject matter mastery.
"In school, we're rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question." - Richard Saul Wurman
I am inspired to teach by my students, father, and other teachers who asked and pushed me to answer - - why? Consequently, as I prepare new teachers, my goal is to lead them to new levels of understanding by helping them question their knowledge and what it means to teach.
I was fortunate to have wonderful teachers, all of whom continue to inspire me (Two of them were my parents.). I try to re-imagine what it was like to be a student in their classrooms—why it was so important for me to begin my study of a subject. What was it about theatre that so excited me I couldn't wait to go to class? What led me to make it my life's work?
My students are the biggest source of inspiration for my teaching. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had to provide music instruction to middle school band and choir students in urban settings, as well as to university students in America and Tanzania. Their passion for music learning feeds my passion for music teaching. It's this type of reciprocity that motivates me to provide quality music instruction for all students with whom I'm given the privilege to interact.
I think that it is a humbling experience to make a positive impact on students' lives by creating opportunities for them to grow professionally and by mentoring them to fulfill their full potential. Teaching also gives me the satisfying opportunity to learn more about my students' unique experiences, cultures, and perspectives.
Teaching for me is about making connections between people, ideas, and communities, historical events and the present, music, culture, and the meaning of it all. Knowledge is a beautiful concept in itself, but only really becomes important when it is transmitted--connected to and engaged with the larger world as a way to make our lives better.
When students acquire knowledge and deepen their understanding, there is a sparkle of wonderment in their eyes and they assume an air of confidence. They also exhibit an almost irresistible urge to repeat that feeling through sharing that moment with someone else. This subtle shared transformational moment is what inspires me as a teacher and has me fixated on designing additional experiences where students become even more successful as learners.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." - Plutarch
I am inspired to teach by the excellent educators in my life who showed me how important it is to teach and encourage others. I am motivated by my students, who seek understanding and knowledge and occasionally laugh at my jokes. I am excited by the idea that my class might help students find their passion and calling. Most of all I am inspired by being a part of students' transformation into confident professionals who are ready for the next chapter in life.
I am inspired by having the opportunity to make a positive impact on students' lives. Ultimately, I want to be a teacher who helps students to find their passion, who provides the best instruction for students to achieve their goals, who educates students in such a way that they can make the right decision in their lives both technically and ethically, and who inspires other people. Seeing students smile due to the intellectual excitement gives me immense joy and it is such a rewarding moment.
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
I believe that our students find and develop their gifts through the process of learning. I'm inspired to teach them, knowing that they are committed to learning about the rule of law, civility, and professionalism. If I can help them discover who they are, what they care about, and how they will use this gift to benefit the greater good, then I've done my job.
I am inspired to teach by the students. I know this may sound cliché, but it's true. My goal is to inspire students to become lifelong learners. I consider the interaction between student and professor to be a sacred trust. If I can help them along in their journey through life and give them something to critically think about then I've done my job as an educator. I learn just as much from them and engaging in the classroom as hopefully they do from me.