- Ph.D, Economics, University of Utah. Project: A History of Prevailing Wages in the United States
My primary motivation is to promote happiness through education. Education enhances one’s life in many ways. I believe that critical thinking skills, introspection, and awareness of how our actions affect ourselves and others are crucial to personal growth and hence happiness. Learning compassion for oneself and others is integral to applying these skills: they help a person to engage in the world in a responsible and satisfying manner. Making the particular course work relevant to their lives is my job and I thoroughly enjoy helping students make those connections. It is a true pleasure to take part in a person’s awakening and see them apply what they have learned to new ideas and situations.
One of the great things about teaching is that it wards off becoming a hypocrite. In my efforts to be a good mentor, I am constantly checking if my actions and words are consistent with one another and making sure I am expressing the ‘authentic me’ with equanimity. I strive to impart to my students that I can listen, care about them, and help them realize their potential. Teaching has made me a better person because I want to model these values.
I endeavor to be a “manager” of the classroom environment to enable the students to flourish in a safe and stimulating environment. Learning how to create this type of environment has been a learning process for me. I consistently enroll in the classes offered by The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence because I have a lot to learn and I have found that implementing the ideas and techniques suggested by CTLE has enhanced the classroom environment. It warms my heart when I walk into a classroom and it’s loud: the students are talking with each other about either class work or personal topics. I feel that the University experience should be conducive to strengthening social skills and support networks in addition to academics.
I will continue to invest in myself to acquire new methods of teaching just as I ask my students to invest in themselves to learn the material I present and risk having an opinion. Expressing oneself is a scary prospect to many students and so we spend a lot of time practicing how to communicate. I believe that being able to effectively communicate, especially if one as has opposing opinions, is very important in every relationship whether it be family, friends, bosses, workmates, or strangers.
In conclusion, studying economics has been a wonderful career choice for me because I find economics is so very important in understanding different people, cultures, and the workings of the world. I strongly believe that if humans are to make the world a better place it is our responsibility as educators to teach the history, provide the tools, and model the behavior that will facilitate that change.