Teaching is an Art

“Improving College Teaching” by Peter Seldin

Part of the conclusion:

“Teaching is an art and not a science. Yet, every artist needs a grounding in technique before setting to work, and there is no artist–or teacher–who cannot improve his or her skill.
No one would make light of the hurdles confronting professors intent on improvement. Progress may be slow. For some, the effort may possibly fail. But the stakes for teaching and learning are high, and the effort is imperative.

President John F. Kennedy was fond of telling a story about the French Marshall Louis Lyautey. When the marshal announced that he wished to plant a tree, his gardener responded that the tree would not reach full growth for more than one hundred years. “In that case,” Lyautey replied, “we have no time to lose. We must start to plant this afternoon.”Administrators and faculty intent on improving teaching also have no time to lose. They, too, must start to plant this afternoon.”

About the Author:
Peter Seldin is Distinguished Professor of Management in the Lubin School of Business, Pace University, Pleasantville, New York. A specialist in the evaluation and development of faculty performance, he has been a consultant to more than two-hundred colleges and universities throughout the United States and in twenty-five countries around the world.

Source: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/vc_academic_affairs/improve.html

What can I say?

I like it when he said this – “Because teachers may need different kinds of help at different career stages, instructional improvement efforts must be geared to particular faculty needs. For example, new teachers, fresh from graduate school will likely need help in lecturing, leading discussions, and constructing tests. Those at mid-career will likely value learning new skills, taking part in interdisciplinary work, and adopting new technologies in the classroom. Those in the latter stages of their careers will likely benefit from systematically reflecting on their teaching and becoming mentors for their more junior colleagues.”

Just like in life, we always strive hard to improve ourselves and to be the best. Teachers are not born as teachers. Excellent skills in teaching are acquired by continues evaluation of one’s teaching performance.

Teachers are artists. Let’s always be more creative to our students.


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