Fall 2016 Semester Teaching Summary
I am very invested in my work as an entrepreneurship educator, so in the final session of CUE1001: Culture Industry and the Creative Economy (a required Global Perspectives category course at the University of Minnesota Duluth), I asked my students to write an anonymous message to me about anything related to the course. Some chose to comment on the course overall, but others chose to write about me as their teacher.
Here is what they said…
(I had them crumple their papers into snowballs and throw them into a basket...how seasonal)
I value the opportunity to teach students every day, and I was grateful to see that this care and attention to detail reads through to them and their experience within the classroom.
I am, by no means, perfect with my teaching-- not even close! Yet, oddly enough, that is the beauty of teaching.
Teaching is a craft. Teaching skills are constructed over time, but they are never perfected. There is never going to be the same classroom of people, on the same topic, with the same interactions, and in the same moment in time.
That is part of the reason why I love teaching: you constantly have to be on your toes. You learn everyday. You are challenged with having to convince, pique interest, and engage minds.
The best teaching comes from knowing that it is not about you as a teacher, but them as students:
But with the best leaders,
When the work is done,
The task accomplished,
The people will say, 'We have done this ourselves.' -Lao Tzu
Nevertheless, on some magical days, we are reminded that we have made a difference. You can genuinely see your impact when students are embodying their own understandings of the lessons and owning their work and successes.
It is the most wonderful feeling to see their growth as professionals and as people.
On the other hand, we all know that we cannot and will not reach everyone...
...and that is okay. This note makes me smile every time I read it because it is a good reminder that I have plenty of work yet to do. :)