I believe teaching is equivalent to farming. A farmer sets forth lots of effort for crops to mature and grow. It takes time, good soil, lots of care, sunlight, and water to see crops mature and grow. Diverse crops may also require diverse growth techniques. A teacher must know her student and learning qualities and recognize students learn differently. The teacher must incorporate student and learning qualities within each teaching lesson. Just as a farmer applies different resources to see a crop mature and grow, a teacher must apply different teaching styles and strategies to help a student mature and grow in their education.
As each crop is different, so are each student. I try to incorporate in the classroom different strategies and formats of teaching. This allows me to try and reach as many learners as possible. Visual learners, I can integrate lectures full of pictures, so that the student can grasp the clinical procedure to know what is expected of them. Auditory learners, I can generate voice-over lectures. Kinesthetic learner, I can utilize small groups of students’ clinical procedures and then have the student demonstrate the procedures back to me. This process includes guiding the student and assisting along the way. In particular, courses, students operate an online self-study. These students prefer to work alone, but for the student who prefers working in a group, I can incorporate a group case study discussion before each session.
Just as a farmer is tending to the crops, I too am always tending to my students’ education and my learning. Dental Hygiene is an ever-changing profession. I am always seeking more ways to teach my student’s through community service, personal experience, continuing education, or teaching methodologies. It is my passion to continue to grow as an educator, just as my students grow into a Dental Hygiene Professional.
I have always loved education, and the learning process, and it is one of my goals to as a teacher to incorporate this love of learning into the courses I teach. If one is to be a good educator, a commitment to lifelong learning must be made. It is the responsibility of the educator to look for new and innovative ways to teach and implement learning. Being knowledgeable, enthusiastic, organized, open-minded, and one who models professionalism are qualities of a good educator should possess. In my opinion, if the teacher stops thinking there is something new that can be learned, it is time to move on and find a new profession. I have been fortunate to participate in faculty learning communities which I feel have helped me to gain a stronger understanding of what the role of an educator should demonstrate. Teaching and learning are different, and what we find is that most educators teach the way they learn themselves and not necessarily how the students learns. There are several ways learning has been categorized over the years, but what differentiates good educators is the ability to decipher how each student learns and adapts their teaching strategies. Occasionally this means getting out of our comfort zones. Trying something new can be difficult. I learn from my students each course I teach.
I am currently enrolled part-time in the Masters in Dental Hygiene at University of Kansas City at Missouri. My professional goal is to continue my education while providing the best quality of teaching to my students. I personally believe moving forward can only be done with hope, enthusiasm, and faith with a true sense of realism.