The Unexamined Class Is Not Worth Teaching

Credit: iStock.com/shironosov
Credit: iStock.com/shironosov

A teacher’s work is rarely done. You may think you have nailed it one day only to flounder the next. One semester may go swimmingly, but another may feel like drudgery. Most college and university teachers have challenging first years as they navigate the rigors of higher education. Of course, just because you have taught for many years, or have a long-term contract or tenure, does not mean you should stop paying attention to your teaching. Yes, there may be few external expectations for growth as a teacher. No, you may not be forced to review your teaching philosophy or be observed (though peer observations and evaluations of teaching are on the rise nationwide). Even if you have no external reasons to do so, constantly being open to your students’ experiences and reevaluating your pedagogical choices can keep you sharp, motivated, and excited about your teaching. With a nod to Socrates, the unexamined class is not worth teaching.


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