….as well as the lecturer that I wish I had.
I don’t disregard that I’ve had fantastic lecturers. However, I also want to remember the way my lecturers sometimes make me feel. I look at it all as such wonderful blessings, a blessing to learn, and the humility to achieve what I couldn’t have. It is because I go through the things I go through, that I do have a desire and passion to teach, to impart knowledge onto others in way that benefits them, in a way to change their lives. So much so that they can say “if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the therapist I am today”. I want to remember the lessons I’ve learnt, the tears I’ve cried, the frustrations I’ve faced, in hopes to remember how it is to be a student, what I wanted, to help who I can be.
I want to teach with passion
I never want to come into class with a sigh, or a face of disdain of the day. I never want to come and say “I’m tired of teaching all of you”. I want to be excited to come into class, as well as hope that students are excited for me to come in. I don’t want to complain about the work load to them, I don’t want my students to feel like a burden. I want to teach you because I want to enrich your life and I want you to be a better therapist.
I want to use the whiteboard
Through my lessons online, I always think that the best lecturers are the ones that can use the whiteboard. To use just a blank space, and explain. This is because they are the ones that draw diagrams, arrows, underline, and illustrate something. It’s for you to see, its for you to write. How can I ever write faster than you can? We can absorb this information together. I don’t want to be someone who just reads from the slides.
I want to encourage questions
I never want to ever say “I refuse your questions”, because it hurts. As a student, it hurts. It hurts because when I ask questions, and when they don’t get answered. It makes me feel alone. It makes me feel like you hate me. It makes me feel like you don’t want me in the classroom, and I don’t want that. I want to encourage all questions. Even stupid questions like “how are you and your kids?”. I never want to say “only ask relevant questions”, or “sorry, I’m on my holiday, don’t message me”. I want to create a safe space to allow for us to share with one another. This is because you’re a student (I’m a student), and if you don’t allow them to ask, if you discourage them from asking, they stop asking. If they stop asking, they stop being curious, and how would we ever move forward in our knowledge and research?
I want to encourage answers
I aim to be a lecturer to always say “that’s a good answer” after every answer they give. This is because they had the courage to try. It’s not good enough to just say “that’s a good attempt”. I want them to speak up, I want students to have a voice, I want them to share, and I want to listen. When we stop listening to our students, we then stop learning. I don’t want to be a lecturer that just says “because I say so”, or “no. that’s wrong”. If you find something wrong in what I’m saying, explain yourself, explain your thoughts. I want to encourage it. I don’t agree to know everything, and what I teach is only one perspective, I want you to share yours. Research is all about challenging the norms, innovation and creativity, let’s encourage that.
I want to know the answers
I never want to always say “go look for your answers yourself”. I can’t blame my lecturers for not knowing all the answers. I once asked, “how can cranial nerve 11 help in the scapula when it only innervates the sternocleidomastoid?” and if I was my own lecturer, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say myself. I do want to possess the knowledge to share. I can’t blame this one, but I do feel sad when I ask a question to which my lecturer doesn’t know the answer. I know we live in the day and age where we can find our own answers. However, I suppose when you can answer my questions, I have a great more deal of respect for you, because you prove to me why you’re up there teaching me, because you’re so much better than I am. Finding the answer on the internet? We both can do that. So what makes you different from me?
I want to teach with humility
I never want to say things like “why do I have to repeat myself?”, “are you not listening to me?” “don’t you know anything?” I never want to shake my head with frustration. I want to be able to have the humility to admit I’m wrong, if I was wrong. I want the humility to say “I don’t know the answer”. I want the humility to learn with you. Once I had a lecturer, who I asked a question. She didn’t know the answer. She sat down with me, and took out all her biology books, and we searched for the answer together. I never forgot that until this day.
I want to guide
I don’t want to say things like “can’t you be more proactive?”. I live in the day and age where the internet is at our finger tips. So often than not, lecturers would like to remind us of how blessed we are because of it. I want to say that it is because of that, the generation has a higher expectation on us. If I don’t know the answer, they want me to look for it. “Why do you want to be spoon fed?” I want to teach others on how to be proactive. I want to teach them how you can find definitions on journals that helps summarize the concept, I want to show them the case studies you can read in the textbooks to help further your understanding, I want to show them websites that give this type of information. I want to guide you to be proactive, instead of demanding it from you. So that when other lecturers demand it from you too, you’d be ready.
I don’t want to swear in class
It’s not just the swear words. However, it’s more of the concepts or context in which it’s used. Someone can be teaching something, and they said “but I tell you, this is all ********”, “let me tell you, it’s all @#$*#$ **#@#$#!”. I find it funny when lecturers discredit the information that they are teaching. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t sign up to teach what they are supposed to be teaching, sometimes they have no interest in the topic, and sometimes they have no control of the content because the lessons haven’t been approved by the MQA. I honestly don’t know what to do when you’re in that situation, but personally, I just don’t like it.
I want to be positive
I don’t want to say “I want to teach you this, but I just don’t have time”. I don’t want to sigh and say “I’m just too busy, go ask someone else”. I don’t want to come to class rubbing my temples, and complaining to my students about my boss, or my husband, or my colleges, or the educational system. I don’t want others to feel like they are an inconvenience to me, and that they’re a waste of my time. Complaining gets people no where. If we have a problem, let’s find a solution. I think it just overalls creates a negative space for us to work in. Let’s avoid that shall we?
I know I’m not a lecturer, and I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be one. I understand and realize that there’s so much that I don’t understand about being a lecturer. There’s office politics, deans, MQA, government policies, etc etc. I just hope that if I ever become one, that I remember what it was like to be a student, and to teach in a way I wanted to be taught.