Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Teach, To Learn

Here is one for all of you students out there regardless of your age. Your job is to learn. Your teacher's job is to teach. You are responsible for learning. No one can force you to learn. It is much like eating. Someone can put food in front of you and if you either refuse to eat or are not hungry then no one can force feed you to make you eat.

A teacher is responsible to put as much learning on your plate about the subject that is reasonable and relevant to the course. You as a student have the job of deciding how much and what you are going to learn.

I have taught at the college level for nearly forty years at Metro State College in Denver and at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. I teach as many as 150-200 students a year in the eleven disciplines in my teaching portfolio. I have a large majority of my students eventually end up getting a four year degree. Many are lifelong members of the various National Honor Societies. While others do not do the reading, never participate in class discussions, do the minimum on projects or not do them at all and then get a low grade or sometimes fail the class. I know that a few feel as though somehow I have failed them for some reason. Of course I would not agree but at the same time I wish that I could find the magic bullet that would make them be what I think they can become. They blame me for not force feeding them enough information and I blame myself for not finding ways to overcome their lack of enthusiasm or interest.

I promise to keep trying but I certainly need the help of my students.

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