Year Awarded: 2004
College of Education
I am a follower of Leo Buscaglia who prefers the term "educator" to "teacher." He explains that "educator" comes from the Latin term, "educare," which means to tend or support the growth of another. That is the role I hope to play in the lives of my students.
I am careful to follow A. Bronson Alcott's advice in Orphic Sayings, The Teacher when he cautions: "The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciples." I discourage hero worship. I try to help my students be the best they can be. I have private conferences with every student, every semester, challenging their beliefs, questioning their goals, and encouraging them to become self-reflective.
My students are my teachers. I am a consummate student. I attend classes, workshops, and conferences with the goal of being the best person I can be. I try to model best practices in my classroom because I believe in experiential learning. If students experience best practices they will be more inclined to use best practices. In the words of John Dewey, "education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”