Why I Teach: A Reflection

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

Why do I teach? You might as well ask, “Why are you breathing?” That’s how essential teaching has been in the daily pattern of my life since 1980. And like breathing, it is hard to figure out what the mechanics of my teaching are; they appear more reflexive than conscious. Which is another way of saying that I really do not have a philosophy regarding teaching and advising, if by “philosophy” one means a precise set of principles that structures one's pedagogy. I’m more comfortable with the concept of teaching strategies, a variable notion that more closely approximates what I think shapes my many formal and informal interactions with my students: a commitment to flexibility.


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