Teaching is not a science, it is an art, and should be treated as such.
Students are not customers (“persons who buy”) – they are clients (“persons who seek the advice of a professional man or woman”).
“Good learning experience” means mastering something new and advanced. To help his/her students, a university teacher has to be able to transform and restructure highly complex material from his/her subject area into a form suitable and accessible to the learners.
This cannot be achieved without teachers being experts in their disciplines.
Successful and inspirational teaching is a highly individual skill. The choice of teaching methods should reflect not only specifics of the target audience, but also the experience, teaching philosophy and individual psychophysiological characteristics of the teacher.
Structuring of the learning environment, choice of teaching and assessment methods have to be subject specific.
Values, standards, criteria of assessment in learning and teaching have to originate in, and be set by, the professional academic communities of their particular subject areas.
The role of managers is to create an environment which helps professional standards to be maintained; however, managers should not interfere in setting the standards.
At some point, I have compiled a short list of reasons why I get a lot of satisfaction from teaching a math circle. I love:
-the equality and feeling of mutual respect and attention that develops between me and math circle participants
-the democracy/lack of authority that shows us the “right answer”
-seeing the value alignment and deep intellectual friendship that develops among the participants
-sharing children’s excitement when they realize their own powers
-the feeling of freedom they develop when they get rid of their own mental blocks
-the intellectual stimulation of choosing the problems and personalizing and teaching them to a particular audience
-when children realize that they feel happy from doing a challenging job
-observing their self-discovery
-observing as children come up with amazing solutions and counter-intuitive discoveries
-getting a fresh view of the beauty and awesomeness of the world we observe and create – thus multiplying my own happiness