Why I Love Teaching at Mizzou

Jesse Hall

“I love teaching at Mizzou because I get to work with students who are passionate about the work we do. They are student affairs professionals who want to be advocates for students. They are future faculty who want to enhance their teaching for learning. They are educational leaders who want to enact positive changes in their organizations. Every semester brings the opportunity to read, discuss, write, reflect, apply and create, so that we may continue to discover new insights into ourselves, each other, and our professions. I also love teaching at Mizzou because of the opportunities to engage in thoughtful discussions about teaching for learning with my faculty and staff colleagues from around the university. Whether at the Celebration of Teaching or on an almost daily basis in Hill Hall, these conversations provide the challenge and support necessary to ensure we are doing the best we can for our students.”
–Jennifer Fellabaum-Toston, Assistant Teaching Professor, Educational Leaderships and Policy Analysis

“I love teaching at Mizzou because I get the chance to work with world-class colleagues, staff, and students to foster an environment where lives are made better every single day. At Mizzou, we have a community of teachers and learners dedicated to new methods of instruction, innovative research, and impactful community outreach. We hold the awesome privilege of shaping the citizens of tomorrow and we honor that privilege by building classrooms marked by rigorous and respectful debate, the relentless questioning of assumptions, and the quest for human understanding.  We don’t just teach calculus, or English, or history. At MU, we teach other human beings how to ask the right questions and to seek answers that make society better for us all.  That’s why I love teaching at Mizzou.”
–Jerry Frank, Associate Professor, History; Director of Mizzou Advantage

“Why do I love teaching at Mizzou?  I love teaching at Mizzou because there is an excitement about learning – not only from the students, but from the faculty as well.  There is a desire to learn more about emerging teaching techniques and how teachers can apply those new methodologies to their classroom.  When the teachers are excited about teaching (and learning), the students get excited about learning … and that is the ultimate goal: Teaching (and Learning) for Success!”
–Eric Aldrich, Adjunct Instructor, Atmospheric Science; Learning and Teaching Technology Coordinator

“My teaching career started at Mizzou 19 years ago as a graduate teaching assistant, wide eyed, new to a PhD program and new to teaching college students. Back then, I loved the professional development mentoring we received, the enthusiasm for and support around teaching in my department and across campus, and of course the opportunity to engage with a group of young people who were among Missouri’s (and beyond) best and brightest. Now, as a full professor with nearly half of an academic career under my belt and teaching hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students at two other major universities in addition to Mizzou, I can say that the reasons why I love teaching here haven’t really changed much over the years. We recognize that the walls of this ivory tower we know and love as Mizzou exist because students choose to be here, to learn here, and to grow here with us. We recognize that teaching matters, and that supporting faculty to be better teachers, matters.”
–Anna Ball, Professor, Agricultural Education and Leadership; Faculty Fellow, Office of the Provost

Following the events in Ferguson, Missouri, during my first semester at Mizzou, and campus protest the next year, I feel a renewed love of teaching. Though the past three years have presented challenges on campus and in the classroom, there has been no better time to transform controversies into “teaching moments” that facilitate honest and thoughtful conversations in the classroom. My classroom has become a place for thinking out loud about race and family dynamics as I offer students an invitation to dig deeper. Teaching at Mizzou has been both liberating and transformative because I have strived to engage students by making them think and not just listen. The most exciting aspect of this approach to teaching is that it often happens outside of the classroom as students apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to interactions with their families and friends. I whole-heartedly believe that it is a privilege to be a teacher at this time in history.
–Antoinette Landor, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Science

“Why do I love teaching at the University of Missouri? Teaching while learning! At Mizzou, students, faculty and staff are all continually learning new things; it makes for a dynamic learning environment where we are all engaged in the process of discovery. Learning at Mizzou has a team-effort feel. Everyone has something to contribute and everyone has something to learn, so we are all invested in the process. As a result, we all grow and become better, together.”
–Bethany Stone, Professor, Biological Sciences

“Teaching at Mizzou has given me the chance to think about art, creativity, and even BEINGNESS as a job. I get to push paint, ideas and minds around (including my own). I get to mentor and be mentored. I get to work with creative humans of all ages, backgrounds, worldviews and experiences. I get to read, write and speak about things that move me. I get to spend time exploring what it means to make things. I get to share those explorations with others. I am incredibly thankful for these opportunities. My desire is to be effective in this work— to reveal the world to myself and others. All of this (and more) has been made possible through the blessing of employment at Mizzou. It is an honor and a privilege to go into my classroom, greet those faces and set off on a task of vision and awareness.”
–Matthew Ballou, Associate Professor, Art

“Our small planet is facing some big challenges. Today’s college students are bright, energetic and want to make their mark in the world. As a teaching professor, I empower Mizzou students to transform the world by teaching them how to operate the levers of change. There is no better reward for a teacher than to see your students expand their ability to think critically and meet the challenges they are presented; except perhaps to encounter them years after graduation and discover they have grown well beyond your own abilities!”
–J. Scott Christianson, Professor, Management

“My favorite thing about teaching at Mizzou is the attitude of the students. Most of our students come to campus eager to engage and ready to learn. They’re open to new ideas and experiences, and ready to tackle academic challenges. Our core Mizzou values are respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence. I’m always amazed at the extent to which our students live up to these values in their interactions with each other and in their commitments to personal and intellectual growth. Every semester, I meet a new group of undergraduates in my classes and think, ‘Wow, what fabulous students they are!’ It shouldn’t surprise me after 20 years, but it certainly pleases me every time it happens.”
–Sarah Bush, Professor, Biological Sciences

 

Why do you love teaching at Mizzou? Email your reasons to teaching@missouri.edu!