Why I Help Students Learn
tudents have asked me many times over the years why I teach. Many do not value teaching as highly as other professions. Some complain about the how it may be a thankless job (not the only one mind you), or how it doesn't pay as other careers might, or the amount of time that is needed. So why despite these seemingly negative aspects of this profession do I still not only want but LOVE (most days!) to help students learn?

I suppose I have to begin by thinking back to my childhood, I was always interested in the behavior & thought processes of humans & animals - I just didn't know that was psychology. I wondered why some parents let my friends do things I could not or vice versa. I was fascinated by the fact that my youngest brother, who was hospitalized for asthma at the age of 1 1/2 years old, learned that if he smiled at a nurse he would get a lollipop & if he winked he would get a popsicle. He was so successful at it that he built-up a nice stash of lollipops under his pillow. Until my mom found it that is!

I never took psychology in high school & it is really quite funny how I fell into psychology. The truth is psychology just happened to be a class which fit my time schedule at WIU. HA! And how I ended up with the most wonderful instructor (Dr. Bem Allen), well that is a mystery. It was Dr. Allen who helped me see that learning psychology was really learning about myself & the world around me. Again, there was no bolt of lightening or mystical Zen experience here. I was a pre-med. major until the middle of my sophomore year. During this year and a half I found myself reading my psychology textbook for fun....O.K. that should have told me something right away huh? I found myself making the fifteen minute hike across campus in hip high snow with a cold to go to my psychology class - sounds like one of my parents' stories! Somewhere in this time period, I realized the most important word in one's vocabulary (other than love etc.) WHY?! O.K. Then add WHAT IF? This is what psychology is all about & what I had been doing all my life. Questioning Why? You know how little kids ask parents "Why is the sky blue?" And with every answer a parent gives they respond "But why?"! Somewhere along our lives most of us ask that question less & less. This class you will understand the incredible value of asking "BUT WHY?"! Psychology asks the question of Why to every aspect of an organisms behavior & thinking processes and attempts to answer this question scientifically.

I think you will find throughout the term that I LOVE psychology. And I love to help students become just as fascinated as I am. No, I don't expect all my students to all have big mystical experiences & become psychology majors. But I think that everyone should be able to leave this course understanding human & animal behavior & their thinking processes much better than when they started. This alone is an awesome reason to take this course. It will help you in every area of your life! You will also equally find I love how technology can enhance the learning experience! I have helped designed the multimedia classrooms, have offered courses via distance learning and online. The technological additions enhance the course material which is presented to you. Much of my love of technology & thus increased love for teaching my discipline, can be credited to an awesome instructor at MSU - Dr. Larry Anderson! He is an incredible human being.