Lessons Learned

Has your impression of teaching changed after taking this class?

Yes, very much so.

Before I took this class, I had a much more teacher-centered approach in mind.  I understand much more clearly the importance of student-centered and other alternative approaches.  Now my vision is very different and much more dynamic.  I am confident this will be more interesting for the students and much more effective in creating learning and learning retention.

My vision of classroom management has expanded considerably.  I am now very clear on the central place respect will play in rules and routines.  I see respect being an operating concept that not only provides the philosophical foundation for the rules and routines but also trues all of us to our best selves.  Respect will inform not only interpersonal behavior but also how we treat learning and how we treat ourselves as students. 

Maybe not most importantly but most significantly, this class has renewed my hope and respect for the teaching profession.  My historic experiences with teachers have been generally poor.  I carried a vision of educators as being generally self-important, intolerant, and one-dimensional.  I fully expected this course to follow the traditional teacher-centered model with politically correct vignettes throw in for bad measure.  I was truly shocked by the openhearted, thoughtful, and very modern textbook.  I was very pleased that the teacher also exemplified the highest standards of what being an educator is or should be. 

I was even more gratified to find that this class took me beyond my preconceived notions of teaching strategy.  It showed me, to paraphrase Hannah Arendt, how well I had learned to emulate the teaching styles I so despised.  I am grateful to the teacher and to the authors of our text, for holding a mirror to my scars and for opening a doorway for me to become the teacher I did not know I always wanted to be.

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