I teach because I love engaging individuals and communities of learners in discovery and invention, reflection and problem solving. To be successful, I must be sincerely interested in each student's well-being. I believe that excellent teachers exhibit passion for four things; learning, their fields, their students, and teaching. Love of teaching is evidenced by the respect we show our students, challenging them by setting high, yet realistic expectations, and providing them the support to achieve these. Learning happens when students observe our passion - "wanting-it" - and come to want-it themselves. We can’t give students an education – it must be earned. What we can give students are opportunities to be challenged and prove themselves.
My objective is to nurture a student’s capacity for openness and receptivity to their own and one another’s passions. Thus, my primary responsibility is to connect with them - the more I learn about them, the more I can help them. I seek to create a community of learners who help each other achieve their best; and to do so, I must remove as many obstacles to their interest as possible.
Here are several quotes from Parker Palmer's book – The Courage To Teach, that I like.
“Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher. Bad teachers distance themselves from the subject they are teaching-and in the process, from their students. Good teachers join self and subject and students in the fabric of life.”
Teachers and students alike can hide behind the pretense of objectivity but we must admit that everything is subjective and necessarily consists of multiple viewpoints. “Objectivism causes fear. When we distance ourselves from something, it becomes an object; when it becomes an object, it no longer has life; when it is lifeless, it cannot touch or transform us, so our knowledge of the thing remains pure. That is why music, art, and dance are at the bottom of the academic pecking order and the “hard” sciences are at the top.”