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Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
2016 University of Kentucky Faculty Award Ceremony
In your opinion, what are the qualities of a great teacher?
Outside of the obvious requirement of expertise in the subject matter they teach, I think a great teacher effectively encourages student engagement with their discipline. Students of a great teacher will not only participate in class, but will likely find themselves thinking about the course material outside of class and making new connections between courses, the world around them, and their own lives.
What do you find most gratifying about teaching?
I find it incredibly gratifying to get to know students and work with them in a joint venture to develop our skills and understanding. I learn from my students every semester, be it an observation about a piece of literature I had never noticed or considered, or a research project that enhances my understanding of an issue.
What are your interests outside of teaching (i.e., hobbies)?
I am a (bad) guitarist and enjoy writing and recording music. I also love to travel when I can afford to.
What is your favorite book and/or author?
My favorite book is The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, a book that challenged me as an undergraduate and helped convince me to continue studying literature. My favorite author to write about is Ian McEwan because I find his perspective on the world so fascinating.
What resources would you share with others seeking to adopt new teaching practices?
I would encourage other teachers to talk with their colleagues about teaching. Get feedback on your teaching ideas and learn from the teaching practices of other teachers in your department (and in other departments!). Keep an eye out for teaching-related workshops on campus (CELT sponsors several each year) and attend as many as you can.
Patrick Herald is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of English.