Why I Teach

As part of the #connectedcourses MOOC, I was asked to consider the question, “Why I teach?”  I have yet to accept the title “teacher” or “educator” deep in my heart – in fact, such questions make me feel like a poser, or at the very least fairly uncomfortable.  But, as my advisor has pointed out, the description fits and I have taught and do teach, so maybe it’s time to get comfortable with the title.

I’m still new to teaching, so every venture into the classroom is an experiment.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told a classroom of people that I’m “just going to try something out.”  What I’ve discovered is that undergraduates, in particular, are really open to that.  They give me honest (but kind) feedback on whatever it was I was trying out.  Because I’ve created that culture, within a couple of weeks I see them start to try things out in class, too.  When I see my students getting hokey with their own curiosity it makes me feel like maybe I’ve contributed something.  I like seeing people get out of their routines, if just for a tiny little hot minute.  It’s why I teach.

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