Student Reflections

I was catching up on student reflections yesterday and found some insightful gems I thought I should share:

Dani wrote (in quoting is about approaching your daily work and the challenges you face with an open mind and a creative, can-do attitude. It’s about seeking unconventional solutions to the problems on your plate. You can innovate in any job, any department, or any organization. Innovation is about taking action. Ordinary people “innovate” every day. They find slightly better, easier ways to accomplish some routine task. They figure out new ways to close a sale, design a clever slide, increase production, or satisfy an internal customer’s request for a solution to a problem that has never come up before.”
One of the biggest keys to innovation is asking questions and deferring your judgment of “silly ideas.” In fact as the human species it is our disposition to ask questions and be curious. We have an innate desire to create and improve. I find it fascinating that with a little bit of focus and determination, I can create something that will improve performance or efficiency. It would be a neat activity to see how many things we innovate on a daily basis.

Whether it is a procedure or an assignment, innovation in the classroom is essential. Because there are so many new technologies being created and released, education will continue to get harder and more involved in these technologies. My quest for this week will be to identify ways how I can innovate my studying in school and performance of my responsibilities. This includes teaching as well.

Kyle wrote:

This class has inspired me to consider many things that I had not before. The first, and most important, being my educational relationship with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing to keeping me from gaining an exponential relationship with the scriptures, other than myself.
I started to think, after reading the Walter Gong book, about what is most important to me and what I spend most of my time on. The scriptures, and prayer, usually turned out to be a must or a need but never a want. In order to gain learning on an exponential level, I needed to want and desire to study. So I decided to make some changes.
I organized a Friday morning scripture study group along with a Tuesday morning temple group. At first things were exciting and moving. The first few weeks were easy. I felt like I was doing something right. It wasn’t long before it became monotonus like many other important things in my life. I wondered why my pursuits to gain that “exponential” feeling were deteriorating (especially in the case of spiritual life). Shouldn’t the Lord be excited by my attempts and give me the motivation I need?
Regardless of the Lord’s needs and wants, I’ve realized a few important things in my study of…study.
Education: especially exponential education, will not come to you; will not, ever, come without applied energy or time; and is only as important in your life as you make it. Though some forms of education are more desirable it is only a result of a previous input or application of those principles.

Whitney wrote:
It is vital to make those student teacher bonds. For many kids, a teacher is the only sort of parental guidance they have. A teacher is their roll model, their source of education and their source of guidance. Because of this, it is important for us, as future teachers, to reach out to the kids.

Teacher Salary

Today in class the topic was: teacher salary. Many people believe that teachers are underpaid. Are they? It depends: 1.) how much do you value education? 2.) How much is too little, or too much, to pay those invested in teaching and training tomorrow’s society? 3.) How much do you want to pay – remember you often only get what you pay for. (Note: I realize similar salary complaints surround other public service areas: law enforcement and such, but for the purposes of this posting, I will only address the topic of public education teacher salaries – not to mention that’s the focus of the course where this topic was discussed.)

According to several sources (Federal Census data, Bloomberg, etc.) teachers are paid on average mid $30s out of college. The question should be asked, “So, how does that stack up with the other starting salaries of college graduates?” Evidently, it stacks up… ok… or perhaps it doesn’t stack up at all (depending on how you view the importance of education.) The obvious argument is, if you create a demand by increasing salaries you increase competition – which could lead to having increased teacher production. I am not convinced of that, but qualitatively I am forced to believe that, as I have several friends who “wanted” to teach – but decided against it when they didn’t think they would be paid enough. I also have other students who have been “lured” into industry upon graduation stating similar reasons. Consequently, and because I believe in education, I feel teachers should be paid more. Education is the primary domain of how we are going to protect the freedoms and morals of our society. Regardless of if you’re religious or not, for a society to be safe (in more than one sense of the word) it needs to protect it’s basic rights and freedoms – which can only be done through living and supporting high codes of ethics and morals. Obviously religious institutions support this effort, however, not everyone is religious. Notwithstanding, I’d argue that regardless of faith, most people (those of us who are sane) want to live in economically and physically “safe” areas – consequently we need teachers. Teachers need to be paid more to ensure they can invest the time in their careers (and don’t have to find outside work) to most effectively prepare the leaders and society of tomorrow. Without the teachers I had, I’d be… well I wouldn’t be. Education is what made America great – so if we want it to be great again (or continue to be great) we need to invest in what’s most important: education.

Salary Average for College Graduates