I finished two days of seminars about teaching. I learned a lot.
One of the things which made it interesting was the mix of people who attended. Me, a second year graduate student… sitting next to a professor who has won awards for teaching excellence. And both of us were there to become better teachers.
Being a great teacher is not easy. It takes practice, and depth of knowledge, and creativity. But I think most of all it involves wanting to be a great teacher. When I was sitting in the teaching seminar… it became evident that the key to teaching is never stop learning how to teach because I can always get better (even after I am winning teaching awards).
Me, sitting next to a professor who has won awards for teaching excellence… and this professor was at a seminar to become a better teacher. Currently I am not a great teacher. Without being arrogant I do believe I am a good teacher… but my desire is to become a great teacher. The desire is the key.
Anyway, now I have a bucket of new ideas to try in the classroom. What do you think makes a great teacher?
According to the Gazette Times, “OSU’s anticipated tuition increase is still less than what it saw last year, when it rose 8.1 percent. The tuition increases are partially due to the decreasing share of state allocations. The Oregon University System received 16 percent less in state funds for the 2011-13 biennium compared to the last biennium, or $691 million compared to $824 million.”
How are professors supposed to assign a textbook to read for class when the student tuition and fees are already so high? Textbooks add to the problem because the cost of textbooks has risen at a pace of 4-times the rate of inflation.
When is enough ENOUGH? California has been devastated by the college tuition crisis, and it feels like Oregon is following the same model. People of Oregon… demand better from your state’s leaders. Demand better for your children.
Last year, I asked students in my class a question which made a lot of them uncomfortable: “Why are you in college?” Some of them said to get a better job, some said to find a career, some said because they didn’t have anything else to do after high school, and some said because their parents told them to go to college.
Colleges across the United States are struggling to pay bills which results in increasing tuition rates. The rate increases impact student debt, and for students to be entering college with such a low understanding of that debt is bothersome. Should an 18-year-old understand everything they are signing when it comes to money? Yes. Of course yes they SHOULD. But they don’t. Should students who want a college education finish college with student loan debt of $100,000 or more? No. Of course no. But they do.
What is the best answer? I don’t know. I don’t think college education is a “ponzi scheme,” but I do believe the costs that students pay for tuition is way too high… which leads to student loan debts of $100,000 or more. Personally as a graduate student I have over $60K in student loan debt, and it is a struggle to keep it lower while getting my PhD. When I hear about how much undergraduates pay for their tuition in California and Oregon it makes me cringe, especially when I hear they are paying with loans. Here are some other stories about debt struggles: Stories on Student Debt.