Done well, teaching is challenging. I think there is always the question: Do I teach what I know the students need to learn, or do I teach what the students think they need to learn?” It’s great when what I know they need to learn and what they think they need to learn are one and the same—but that’s not always the case. Then, I resolve the question like this: I was hired for my years of experience in the field in which I teach. I do know what the students need to learn.
As the world speeds up, it seems we have the pleasure of experiencing students who desire that same speed in their classes. They often want academic instruction their way and on their terms. Knowledge can be had almost instantly today. It’s accessible everywhere. However, what the students do not have is the personal knowledge that I have of the paths upon which they will journey after they graduate, my personal knowledge of the sharp rocks, the thorny bushes, the dangerous cliffs. I am the only one who has that knowledge. They cannot access it on the internet.
A reminder of why I was hired is all that it takes for me to walk confidently to stand at the front of the classroom and teach what I was hired to teach.