Author Archives: Neill Johnson

Do you have to love teaching to be a good teacher?

In a May 13, 2010 Chronicle article, Confessions of a Teacher, Gabriela Montell responds to a blog posting by a college instructor who admits to NOT loving teaching and who claims that one need not love teaching to be good or successful at it. I think many faculty members I have consulted with would probably agree. They care about teaching and strive to do it well, but they did not go into academia and take a job at a doctoral granting institution because their very favorite thing to do is teach. What’s interesting to me is the fact that so many people feel ashamed to admit this, even at a place like University Park. I think people who consult with faculty need to reassure them that teaching is a profession, that they don’t have to have a “calling” or to feel they were born to teach in order to be successful, and that they can become good teachers over time with practice and regular assessments. Isn’t that consistent with the best motivation theories of learning?

Teaching and the Bottom Line

teachvsgrants.doc Someone sent me this Chronicle article from March 3, 2009 arguing that teaching is more important to the bottom line than is research, even at doctoral institutions, because research dollars can’t compare to tuition dollars in terms of covering overall costs of operation. This gives all of us who work to enhance student learning–whether we work directly with students or with faculty who are teaching them–a new way of looking at our contribution to the fiscal health of the institution.