What drives me to commit to higher education in the last forty years is my students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Given the time, adequate amount of resources, enthusiasm, and patience, anybody can teach. Whether the student is willing or not, the subject matter can be presented in a fashion that is entertaining and soon the student will find himself or herself enticed by the material. I admit these couple of statements may seem a bit idealistic, but it is an ideal I know is worth holding and striving for simply because every student can be taught and made into a willing individual if the professor is able to identify with each student on a personal level and adapt. A professor's goal should be to convey the concepts and subject matter efficiently as a whole, but one cannot reach every student in this fashion. Those who need extra help should feel comfortable to come to the office. By expressing an interest in the students themselves, a level of trust is created personally and professionally. As I have already mentioned, the ability to identify with a student enhances the teacher-learner relationship. These days, as a record number of young adults embark on the journey to higher education, many of them unconsciously embark on a path to self-realization and actualization. It is no surprise that young adults mature almost at an exponential rate in college. For the past forty years, I have had some ten thousand students to cross paths with me in the classrooms and laboratories, and as the times change, teaching techniques have changed and knowledge of the universe around us has expanded which in turn has shaped new generations of pupils. As a professor, it is imperative that with the changing technology, times, and students, that one is willing to adapt and utilize any new methods available. Experimentation is key to a scientist, and for a Physics professor, this is no different. I have actively tailored my tests to the online realm by having the students take examinations online via their laptops. Canvas has provided a means of instant communication and efficient information distribution. I have made sure not to ignore these invaluable instruction advancements, nor have I shirked my duty to experiment and adapt by trying something new with respect to the rapidly rising technology. A professor is never endowed with all the knowledge of a subject. It is important to remember this humbling fact and therefore one should constantly be learning. By attending seminars, conferences, reviewing new textbooks and editions, and striving to be better professionally, I am avidly attempting to broaden the scope of my knowledge. The mark of a degree does not signify the end to one's studies. If a professor epitomizes this commitment, the students will reflect and exemplify the same passion. In the end, the food chain of knowledge reaches the student even beyond graduation realizing the "seeking of knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?