Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
My 41st year of teaching began yesterday. Here are my takeaways.
1. I was designed to teach. I love to teach. I was made for teaching.
2. Each class I teach is a charge, a commitment to a body of students. I take that duty seriously.
3. My one-word philosophy of education remains the same: ownership. Students must take possession of what they believe, becoming custodians of their thinking-being-living.
4. Students bear responsibility for their education. The work they put in is what they will get out of any instruction.
5. In a public educational age where some beliefs are mandated, a subscription to prescribed orthodoxies, I believe in heterodoxy: students have freedom of thought and speech, bearing the weight of personal research to solidify ideas from all perspectives without limits on information.
6. The frontal lobe of teenage brains is still forming. So, help in directing ethical boundaries is essential to my professorship. Helping first-year students understand that choice-is-consequence, for instance, is one of many ways I encourage reflective thought when it comes to the categories of right or wrong.
7. Universal life lessons are essential to my teaching since “inquiry” is part of the course title I teach; questioning and investigation will be lifelong pursuits.
8. Students are savvy. Their remarks and concerns are honest and transparent, and I treat those thoughts with great care, encouraging deep thinking, from temporal to eternal matters.
9. I care deeply for students. I enjoy, respect, and give my full attention to all individuals as people bearing God’s image. Based on the biblical concept of the *imago dei* I believe the trust I have been given is a sacred commission.
10. In one of the final questions yesterday, a young woman asked, “Could you give us one principle of wisdom for the semester?” I paused, thankful for such an astute mind, and said, “Take responsibility for your life. Refuse to blame others for your decisions. Accept the ideal that what you do could provide benefits or detriments for your future. The choice is yours.”Published in