Teaching & Learning

Why Do You Teach?

Before the 2023 semester started, the teachers all got together for a convocation and one of the activities was to discuss why they wanted to be teachers. The Beacon decided to follow up with a few teachers to dig a little deeper into that question and share their responses by sending out a survey to the faculty.

Lisa Dittrich teaches in the cardiology department, the list of classes she teaches is wide and impressive. Dittrich stated that she had a rough beginning into her field back in 1990. There was not a lot of formal educational programs for Cardiovascular Technology at that time. “I was trained so poorly on-the-job that I vowed if I ever had the chance to train or teach someone else, I would be much more thorough and supportive.”

Teachers like this are the ones who bring much light into learning, they take their time to make sure that they get the best that they have to offer, which includes the support they may need. Within the neurodivergent community, teachers like this are even more important.

Dittrich went on to say, “Our CVT students will take care of some very sick and frightened patients and I want them to feel confident in their skills and knowledge so that they can serve those patients with excellence and compassion.”
Having a nurse or doctor who is not only confident in their skills but also kind and thoughtful during a time of uncertainty to a patient can make a huge difference in that process. 

(Pictured above) SMCC Cardiovascular Technology students have the latest state-of-the-art equipment to be trained on with today’s delivery of this Philips EPIQ CVx cardiology ultrasound machine. Program Chair Lisa Dittrich calls the machine a “game-changer” for students and the program.

Another teacher who responded to our survey is Melissa Hoffman. Hoffman teaches English Composition and Advanced Integrated Reading and Writing and works full-time in the advising office. Hoffman said that, growing up it very normal for her to be around schools and young people because both of her parents were teachers. “At 27 I became a single mom and was waiting tables. I decided to go to college so I could better support my kids long-term. Teaching was a practical option, but I also had always wanted to work with young people” Hoffman got her education and then became a teacher. “I finally became a teacher when I graduated college at 36. I absolutely fell in love with teaching. So while my journey to teaching began with a practical decision, I continue to teach because it is my passion and purpose.” Hoffman graduated from SMCC and went on to Smith College.

In teaching, having a teacher who states that what they are doing is their passion and purpose is far more important than a teacher who says it isn’t. The ones who state it often have more of a connection with their students and their lessons, and leave more of an impact when the day is done.

I will be posting more of the teacher’s responses in the upcoming weeks, if you are a teacher and would like to send your responses to me, click on my name in the staff box.

Categories: Teaching & Learning

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