What do faculty learn from students?

Professors give their answers. They may surprise you.

What do you learn from students?

"Faculty learn what students' priorities are. Often, their priorities aren't my priorities, but that's okay." - John Zerillo, Associate Professor of Business Administration

"When we discuss readings, poetry, and essays that I have taught for a while, students show me different points of view. They also teach me to have fun. I love learning about campus life, politics and sports from students." - Rick Dennison, Assistant Professor of English

"When a student asks me a question I don't know the answer to, or a question I've never thought about before, they're teaching me." - David Pinchbeck, Associate Professor of Mathematics

What's the most important thing students have taught you?

"Humility. The questions that students ask show me that there's always more to learn. You can never know everything about a subject." - Cynthia Mowles, Assistant Professor of Education

"I continue to be impressed by the passion that our distance students have for learning and for their workplace. These professionals already have full and busy lives yet the passion with which they dive into our courses is remarkable." - Tom Hancock, education faculty, Graduate & Professional Studies

"How much you can accomplish just by working hard. You can do amazing things if you try hard." - David Pinchbeck

"As cheesy as it may sound, students have taught me that I maintain my faith in the youth of America. When my friends and co-workers start to complain about today's youth, I get frustrated because I see students' work ethic, values and motivation." - Rick Dennison

Do professors best learn from their students in class, through their writing, or talking with them?

"In all ways. It's easier to talk to shy students outside of the classroom, and I learn a lot about them through their papers." - Katrina Hoop, Assistant Professor of Sociology

"Primarily from dialogue in class, but I'd say through their writing is a close second, because I get a lot of personal opinions in the essays I assign." - Rick Dennison

Did a student ever change your mind?

"Recently in my Secondary Methods (Education) class, we were reviewing a teaching strategy that I think is appropriate under certain circumstances, but all of my students were adamantly against it, so I need to rethink it." - Cynthia Mowles

"I had a student referring to his aunt's limited ability with computers. To him it was understandable, because she was old - 45 to be exact. I never thought 45 was old." - Eric Tremblay, Instructor of Computer Sciences

student in class

"Every year students show me that people of all majors understand and can relate to sociology .. Some of my best students have been nursing majors." - Katrina Hoop

Are the most memorable students the ones who taught you the most?

"Yeah, I think there is. Those students that taught me the most are often the most successful." - John Zerillo

"Not necessarily. Some students were stellar, but they didn't necessarily play a role in changing my way of thinking. Sometimes there's a quiet student who resonates." - Katrina Hoop

Do you learn more from students as you teach longer?

"Yes. Technology has changed through the years; students have many more resources now, so research and class discussions can be much richer. They see things through the perspective of a younger generation, so I'm always learning new things." - Cynthia Mowles

"Learning from our students is a cumulative act. Putting the students at the center of the learning often allows the facilitator to savor their wisdom. For this I am very thankful." - Tom Hancock

"Without a doubt. I feel every year of incoming students brings a new perspective on a variety of topics and the world in general. The students I teach today are not the same students I taught five years ago - nor am I the same teacher." - Eric Tremblay