Stephen B. Bayne
My inspiration for teaching comes from some of my former teachers in and out of the classroom, throughout my years as a student. I believe that a teacher can play a very important role in how students learn. My high school math teacher had an immense impact on me, and encouraged me to focus on learning to solve complex problems. I am greatly inspired by working with students and seeing them grow and mature, and reaching their, sometimes challenging, but attainable goals.
The students inspire me to teach. I appreciate being part of their learning experience. Each semester I strive to create experiential learning opportunities in lab that demystify the principles and concepts taught in lecture. I also strive to create an engaging and gratifying learning environment where students can relate to the material and are comfortable discussing topics. When all these efforts come together and result in student learning, it’s the greatest experience that never becomes routine.
Theory inspires me to teach – but not the way it inspires me as a social scientist. In my classroom I am inspired when I see abstract theoretical concepts come alive for students through service learning. Theory in action is priceless!
Three sources inspire my teaching. The first is my students, whose diverse backgrounds inspire me to tailor my teaching approach toward distinct learning styles. The second is my research colleagues, whose discoveries challenge me to bring that excitement into my classroom. The third is the fellowship of learning so vitally organized by the TLPDC.
I know that education is the stepping stone for the future of each student that enters my classroom. This motivates me to teach and prepare students for their future professions to the best of my ability. As a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding that seeing students learn each day, understand new concepts, and become enthusiastic about their field of study.
Jennifer A. Farris
What inspires me to teach? To me, the classroom discovery process is one of the best things in the world. I enjoy seeing my students’ faces light up as they grasp a difficult concept for the first time and their confidence grow as they put it into practice. My students also teach me a lot –their questions cause me to further explore or examine a topic from a new perspective, and I get to see all the creative ways they approach and apply the material. Plus, I find it fulfilling that I am getting to give back and help others achieve their goals, as my teachers did for me.
Training students to become highly ethical professionals who understand how to apply and evaluate counseling theory, techniques, research, and advocacy is very rewarding. How wonderful it is to be able to bring out the best in my students who can then "pay it forward" and help so many others who benefit from their expertise.
I believe my primary instructional role as a university faculty member is to foster the development of problem solving skills and techniques, enabling my students to successfully address the challenges of real world business problems in a critical and analytical manner. Watching my students work hard and achieve or learn more than they thought possible is truly an enjoyable experience.
Child abuse is my area of expertise—a potentially disturbing and depressing topic of discussion. However, I enjoy helping students to understand that passion alone about abuse or any issue is not sufficient. So, it is rewarding see that moment when students recognize that good research informs good evaluation and treatment of these kids and their families. Using clinical examples and being part of that moment when students make the connections is what I enjoy most!
My inspiration for teaching derives from family, former teachers, and students. My parents and extended family believe that formal education combined with informal teachable moments provide a strong foundation for students to succeed. Throughout my educational experiences I was fortunate enough to encounter several gifted teachers, some of which I consider mentors to this day. While my family and mentors inspired me to join the profession, my current and former students are who truly motivate me. Whether I am teaching a complex subject or a freshmen seminar course, I wholeheartedly strive to facilitate the students in discovering new knowledge and obtaining confidence and satisfaction in their careers.