A profession of a teacher

The word “professional” originally ment a person who made a profession of faith in the midst of a disheartening world. –Parker Palmer

I like this description of what it means to be a professional because it has helped me think about why I want to be a teacher and what I experience as I try to learn to be one. I know what it means to make a profession of faith in today’s world and trying to live out my teaching philosphy feels much the same.  It feels like a challenge when there are so many people who disagree or situations that make it difficult but it is a worthwhile struggle because I believe in the value of my students as people who will make positive changes in their worlds and have hope that through my teaching I can help them get there.

The things that I believe in guide my practice as a teacher. For example, I believe that hands on and active learning are better than lectures. So I work hard to make sure that I include activities in my classes and want to have as many opportuntities to teach lab classes with my lecture courses, even as many lab classes are being eliminated in college degrees.

I also believe that real learning are often not learned in a classroom but through tours, field trips, study abroad or internships. So creating these opportuntites for my students through networking and raising money for tours and travel are something I want to do.

And I believe that I am a teacher of my subject area, soil science, but I will forever be a student of learning and teaching.  I started teaching because I loved learning and as long as I never forget how rewarding it was to master something but also how challenging it was to struggle with a new idea, I can be a good teacher.

What believes do you hold for yourself about yourself and your teaching?







5 thoughts on “A profession of a teacher”

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love your passion for teaching! I agree with you that learning should be more dynamic with various experiences than simple knowledge transfer. Although organizing those trips, experiments, or other new experiences need so much efforts, time and money, I saw professors who were willing to take those efforts for better learning of their students. I believe that you will be a professor like them in the future.

  2. Bethany – Thank you for your post! Throughout the semester, I have really enjoyed hearing about your experiences teaching and learning about all the hands-on activities that you are incorporating. I really would love to sit in on your class sometime. And I definitely think that you are helping your students make positive changes in their worlds.

  3. Hi Bethany, thanks for sharing your self-reflection.You must be a really good teacher and researcher. Your passion is contagious. Even I would like to experience some fun activities in soil science! All the efforts you have put into designing the in-class and field activities beyond traditional lectures will pay off.
    As for me, I am very obsessed by the magic of interaction and coaching. I would like to explore more about teaching interaction in theory and gain my own experiences.

  4. I agree with you. It’s really challenging when you teach something that you know. I mean you need to find a way to explain things so that students can understand. To me, teaching is learning as well, a lifelong learning.

  5. I think what compels me to remain in the field of education is my truly unfaltering belief that humans (young ones in particular) are endowed with an unlimited capacity to learn, if provided the appropriate environment and resources to do so. I know that sounds pollyannaish but I ‘ve chosen my words carefully. I have personal evidence that supports it, and there is a growing body of research behind students with learning differences (often referred to as disabilities) and even those with mental challenges are often capable of learning more than they are taught. Which means to me that it is the adults responsible for educating (the teachers) than the learners whose perspective is limited.
    Thanks for sharing. I think you will [continue to] be an exceptional teacher because of your passion and your commitment to learning.

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