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Feliz Dia del Maestro! (Happy Educator’s Day) May 15th – on why I teach

Today (May 15th) is the Day of the Educator in Mexico (Dia del Maestro). Technically, I’m not a “teacher” (I teach university and post-graduate) and thus I am a professor, but I celebrate (and I am celebrated) just the same.

Adornando el Arbol de Navidad del CIDE Region Centro

While I don’t have the same teaching load I used to have at The University of British Columbia’s Department of Political Science (2-1-2), I still teach and I enjoy it enormously.

CIDE branded cake

I searched through my Teaching Portfolio for my teaching philosophy to see whether anything had changed.

As a teacher, my philosophy is that learning should be constructive, challenging, fun and exciting. Constructive in that my role is to help the student feel confident about his/her skills for the future. Challenging, insofar it should present difficulties that both the student and I will have to work together to overcome. Fun, in that it should provide joy for the student and me as the teacher. And exciting in that learning should be an activity to which both student and teacher should be looking forward. The feedback I have received from students is that I am able to provide all of these in a comfortable learning environment.

I think very little has changed, even though now I’m on my second year teaching Mexican students instead of Canadian and international students. I still want my students to succeed, to get jobs, to gain employable skills.

I teach not because I HAVE to, but because I LOVE to. There are very few things that make me happier than seeing a student succeed. I think the Twitter ID Sh!t Academics Say summarized it best in two tweets:

On what teaching is…

On student success…

Happy Educator’s Day! Feliz Dia del Maestro, colegas!

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