Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why do I like to teach?

For awhile now I have been contemplating why it is that I like to teach? Where did I "learn to teach"? I've been thinking about these questions for a few weeks now in an attempt to prepare for a course I will be teaching in the Fall. I will be teaching a course on teaching methods for future high school agriculture teachers. I LOVE being creative in the classroom, engaging all students, and finding ways to make what is normally a boring lecture fun and interactive.
I plan on sharing my personal style with students but also encouraging them to find what works for them, the subject area, content, and classroom. That made me start to think about a lot of teachers I have experienced in my nearly 20 years of being a student. I have had teachers with a variety of teaching styles. Some I really enjoyed and some were a little boring to me, but I still learned either way. Again, I was a nerd who pursued learning and education, but none the less I learned something from each of them, even if their style was not the style I enjoyed most.
Where did I get my style of teaching? Why do I like to keep students engaged in activities? How is it that I can think of activities that are outside the box (or so my husband and students think)? I started to think about my first educational experiences.... Kindergarten right? Nope. It must have been my daycare then? Nope. Wrong again. My first experiences in a classroom were at church!!! And guess who my teacher was? My mom!
My mother taught my Sunday School class and often my Vacation Bible School class for a lot of my childhood. I have lots of memories and pictures of fun activities, crafts, and lessons that she came up with for us to do. Sure, almost all of those type events have crafts, games etc. But my mom's always had an extra little twist she created herself. She always had a unique way to tie what we were learning into the project and make it fun for every kid in the room. The funny thing is my mom never went to college and never took a class on how to teach. She just knew. It was something that came natural to her and still does.
So that's why I love to teach! My mom is good at it and taught me through experience in her classroom. I have learned a lot about education and teaching through my college courses and experiences, but it all seems to go back to the passion and drive that my mom instilled in me. Making education fun! I am looking forward to sharing these experiences with my students and hearing about why they are passionate to teach as I lead the teaching methods course in the Fall.
I guess I should thank my mom, even though she wanted me to be a doctor. Thanks mom!

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