Why I’ve Stopped Teaching

Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic
Credit: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic

This article first appeared in the December 2011 issue of The Teaching Professor.

I can’t remember when it happened; I just know that it did. I changed vocations in 2003, becoming a full-time academic after being president of a heat treating company in Ohio. I had long dreamed of being a college professor and imagined I’d be joining a collegial community where faculty would help each other improve as teachers. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I discovered that professors are just too busy teaching to help one another become better teachers. So I turned to the literature. I’ve read a treasure trove of articles, books, and websites that deal with “teaching tips” and “faculty development.” Some encouraged me; others left me feeling as though I were a mechanic trying to find the right tools to fix my car. And there were so many things to remember! What do I do to encourage discussion in my classroom? How do I get my students to do their assigned readings? Why doesn’t group work ever seem to be profitable to the students? The more I read, the more questions I had. I had almost resigned myself to a numbing journey that would only get more tedious and strained as the semesters rolled by. But then something happened.


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