Alissa King in India, where the ocean and two seas meet
As teachers/educators/mind developers, we encourage students to hang out on the boundaries of their skills and knowledge. We want them to consider new perspectives and experience the novel. We support them as best we can with activities that carefully build upon structures they already know. Perhaps it makes perfect sense that we, as educators, would want to challenge ourselves beyond our usual comfort zones, take some risks and continue our learning. Taking a trip to India as professional development certainly qualifies in my mind. That’s what Prof. Alissa King did last Winter (2012/13).
What are the support criteria necessary for faculty and learners to venture outside their comfort zones? How can we facilitate and manage such growth and support? Study abroad (or domestically distant) experiences are incredibly enriching. What are some other approaches? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.
What does it mean to be a worker in an education setting, particularly an instructor? Coming off our last podcast in May with Mona, where we explored being a new online instructor, Alan and I have sort of been in a “What does it mean to be an educator” mode. We settled on exploring the theme of “Education is a Career,” and dug in with reading and conversation.
First we sat down with Jack Terndrup, a bit of a local celebrity here in our college. He’s a seasoned professor with a long history as an educator, but also a quick wit, great stories, and the sort of warmth that makes you want to learn from him, regardless if you’re a student or not. Jack teaches Education, and he also does a really enjoyable lecture on his 10 greatest teaching mistakes (and while that didn’t make it into the podcast this time, let’s just say puppets were involved). We also included some of Mona’s path to teaching, from her childhood kitchen table, where her friends begrudgingly learned math, to a highschool in the Bronx, and finally to Eastern Iowa and the Internet. In this podcast, you’ll hear Jack, Mona, and Alan discuss their paths to becoming formal “educators,” and what lead them to this career.
What got you into education? What keeps you there? We want to hear your stories, and your path!