Why do you teach?
Have you ever really thought deeply about all the reason(s) YOU teach?
I have always believed that the overarching reason I teach Nursing is to guide and formulate the next generation of nurses. Sounds good, right?
When I began academic teaching, I thought I had finally gain enough clinical experience to be "qualified" to teach. However, it wasn't long before I realized it took more to teach nursing than clinical nursing experience. Soon I was searching for strategies and tools that I could use to assist nursing students in their clinical reasoning.
And after years of teaching, I finally think this is "why" I teach. I love to think and ponder about ways in which, to get a point or concept across to someone else. I often find myself thinking "why" are they not getting it? What is preventing the student from understanding? During this thoughtful journey I search my thoughts for analogies that might make this muddy point clearer for the student. And...when I am successful I must admit I am giddy with excitement!
This is "why" I teach! I must admit I can't help looking for possible "teaching moments" in my everyday life. Just for the thrill!
Reading Dr. Maryellen Weimer's post in Faculty Focus several years ago prompted me to think more deeply about my reasons for teaching. She likened teaching to the metaphor of a midwife, "both present at the birth of learning". Of course, this caught my eye as becoming a midwife was my first professional goal after becoming a nurse.
When I was standing at the crossroads of becoming a women's health nurse practitioner or nurse midwife, I chose the nurse practitioner route instead, never thinking I could do both. After attending Frontier Nursing University I now know holding both credentials can make sense.
Do I have other reasons for teaching? Of course! I really do want to have a hand in shaping the next generation of nurses. I teach because it gives me a reason to keep learning both about my profession and people. Most importantly, I do it cuz I like it!
So now that I have shared my reasons for teaching, what about you? What are your thoughts? Why do you teach?