Teaching and learning, in my mind, cannot be separated. I have been involved in both for many years. My students have ranged from the age of 5 to 65, in elementary school, middle school and at the university level; both undergraduate and graduate. I have learned from all of them.
I have always understood that teaching was my vocation, that it is a gift from God; something He has called me to do. I have been blessed and am thankful every day.
Ten years ago this calling brought me to Concordia University Texas. After having student teachers and interns in my own classroom I began to feel the need to share some of my experiences with those wishing to pursue their vocations as teachers. My teaching at Concordia has given me the opportunity to keep learning as I work with aspiring teachers in our undergraduate program and practicing teachers in our graduate programs.
I have also had the opportunity to teach transfer students in Life and Leadership class. It is in these classes that I get to know students from all areas of the university. Exciting conversation takes place when people with different experiences and interests collaborate.
In my classes we discuss our funds of knowledge, what we all bring to the classroom from our culture and traditions. In this way we all get to know each other better and can gain an understanding of each other. We are each unique children of God. As the granddaughter of immigrants and the daughter of parents for whom English was not their first language, I have a strong interest in culturally and linguistically diverse students.
In addition to teaching classes, I have the opportunity to observe our students during fieldwork and clinical teaching. Our students have a variety of experiences in both public and Lutheran schools. They are Christian role models in both arenas.
It is in those instances that I see students putting their learning into practice. It is a pleasure when cooperating teachers tell me that our students are well prepared for their clinical teaching experience! It is in this setting where our students begin learning from their students and can begin to put into practice what they are learning in class.
Teaching is a profession that is exciting and engaging every day and no two days are ever the same. At CTX we are blessed with new students every semester. Whether in the classroom or in conversations about course schedules, over coffee, and attending athletic, drama and music events, there is a feeling of excitement and purpose. Our students make this place we all love what it is. We are teaching and learning at CTX!