Why I Help Students Learn
have asked me many times over the years why I teach. Many do not value teaching
as highly as other professions. Some complain about the how it may be a thankless
job (not the only one mind you), or how it doesn't pay as other careers might,
or the amount of time that is needed. So why despite these seemingly negative
aspects of this profession do I still not only want but LOVE (most days!)
to help students learn?
I suppose I have to begin by thinking back to my childhood, I was always interested
in the behavior & thought processes of humans & animals - I just didn't
know that was psychology. I wondered why some parents let my friends do things
I could not or vice versa. I was fascinated by the fact that my youngest brother,
who was hospitalized for asthma at the age of 1 1/2 years old, learned that
if he smiled at a nurse he would get a lollipop & if he winked he would
get a popsicle. He was so successful at it that he built-up a nice stash of
lollipops under his pillow. Until my mom found it that is!
I never took psychology in high school & it is really quite funny how
I fell into psychology. The truth is psychology just happened to be a class which fit my time schedule
at WIU. HA! And how I ended up with the most
wonderful instructor (Dr.
Bem Allen), well that is a mystery. It was Dr. Allen who helped me see
that learning psychology was really learning about myself & the world
around me. Again, there was no bolt of lightening or mystical Zen experience
here. I was a pre-med. major until the middle of my sophomore year. During
this year and a half I found myself reading my psychology textbook for fun....O.K.
that should have told me something right away huh? I found myself making the
fifteen minute hike across campus in hip high snow with a cold to go to my
psychology class - sounds like one of my parents' stories! Somewhere in this
time period, I realized the most important word in one's vocabulary (other
than love etc.) WHY?! O.K. Then add WHAT IF? This is what psychology is all
about & what I had been doing all my life. Questioning Why? You know how
little kids ask parents "Why is the sky blue?" And with every answer
a parent gives they respond "But why?"! Somewhere along our lives
most of us ask that question less & less. This class you will understand
the incredible value of asking "BUT WHY?"! Psychology asks the question
of Why to every aspect of an organisms behavior & thinking processes and
attempts to answer this question scientifically.
I think you will find throughout the term that I LOVE psychology. And I love
to help students
become just as fascinated as I am. No, I don't expect all my students to all
have big mystical experiences & become psychology majors. But I think that everyone should
be able to leave this course understanding human & animal behavior &
their thinking processes much better than when they started. This alone is
an awesome reason to take this course. It will help you in every area of your
life! You will also equally find I love how technology can enhance the learning
experience! I have helped designed the multimedia classrooms, have offered
courses via distance learning and online. The technological additions enhance
the course material which is presented to you. Much of my love of technology
& thus increased love for teaching my discipline, can be credited to an
awesome instructor at MSU - Dr. Larry Anderson!
He is an incredible human being.