Culture, differentiated instruction, Diversity, Education, expression, Florida, Higher Education, pedagogy, Public Education, Reflective Practice, Streams of consciousness, student centered approaches, Teacher Education
Today marks the start of a new and exciting semester (10 weeks). As I have taught over the years, I am reminded of all that makes teaching and learning so important to me. I see it in the responses that I get when I post here on the blog as well as through other social media sites https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patrick-S-De-Walt-MBA-PhD. As I became more aware of the ways in which my beliefs and passion for teaching was shared by others, I found that I was more concerned about everything that I was saying. I don’t take this privilege and honor lightly by any means. I thank each and everyone of you who have taken the time to read anything that I have ever posted online….
The Life of an Educator
It is a very interesting thing to learn from other educators about how they see and experience the life of an educator. Some find the joy in all that they do, others see the responsibilities that are inherent with the position, and others are still trying to figure their way through the process. In many ways, I find that I embody all of these components and feelings each and every time I nervously step in front of my students. While my exterior presents a self assured and somewhat confident person, the interior self is always wondering if he is “doing right by his students.” I find that to be one of the hardest things to come to terms with for me as an educator, I want to always help and prepare my students for all that they will face as they continue their pursuits within the field of education.
The answers that I seek are rarely found within the time that I have my students within my class, but I naively still wish to see any indication that my students get it! As I have discussed about my interactions with Jekyll & Hyde learners in my previous posts, my desires for my students’ success intensifies. I find that I am often fighting them when in comes to my undying belief that they have amazing yet untapped potentials that they seem to not even recognize. I find myself thinking back to my own educational experiences and realizing how fortunate I was to have educators who stayed the course with me even when I didn’t seem to care. From these intense feelings, my teaching philosophy and pedagogy were ultimately born. As a result, I work insane amounts of hours thinking about my lessons and, in the past, grading tons of student assignments.
My growth as an educator has resulted from these educational experiences that consisted of trial and error, long nights of anxiety, and many intense conversations with family, friends, colleagues and mentors. My ideology and integrity are at the center of all that I do and that gives me great pride. Pride in the fact that I am now seeing the seeds that I have helped to plant begin to blossom in multiple contexts as I hope that I have done for my own teachers.
Starting Anew Today
As I write this entry, I am less than an hour away from another exciting and unpredictable semester (Summer 2013). I have so much that I want to achieve with my students and hopefully they will ultimately achieve their own goals as well. I’m teaching my normal class on diversity. I’m also entering into a new area that partially resulted from all that I have done here which has motivated me to explore–a course that merges both student engagement and social media. For now, that’s all I have to say about it but in the coming months I hope that you stay around to see those finished products. So I write to all of the learners and educators out there. Continue to explore your own realities and the beauty found within them while still challenging them for their ultimate enhancement.
My excitement and anticipation have again returned to my core preparing me for a new group of learners who have all the potential in the world to achieve greatness. I just hope to be a small part of their journey as they continue to be a huge part of my own….
Until next time.