A Personal Commitment
Let me begin with a story from my first semester teaching. It was the third week of school and I had just made plans to catch up with an old classmate. We were going to the campus bistro. The day came, we met up, and we began our walk to get some chow. And on our walk there, while chatting about this new teaching position of mine, I emphatically stated, “you know, I would totally do this job for free... just don’t tell the course coordinators that.” It wasn’t until later that I realized what this statement meant.
At no point has teaching felt like a job. Instead, it has felt like humility in action—an introspective experience that I will attempt to articulate, albeit poorly. When you are faced with fifty bright and impressionable first-year students turning to you as their guide, self-honesty is the only true answer. So I began wondering… what might an honest commitment to my students mean? After more than a few ponderous nights, and several internal apprehensions, I realized the personal commitment that I had to take on. And so my mission was born: to promote curiosity and generalizable growth within my students.
My tutorials took on a form of their own. From the resource collection that I spent countless unpaid hours making to the weekly life advice rants that my students were vocal about valuing, every action that I took was to fulfil my personal commitment. It paid off.
Now I am here, at the end of the term, back in the state of introspection from which I began, and amidst all the appreciation, awards, and results, my mind continues to wanders back to one thought: I would totally do this job for free.
Above you will find a few of the many resources that I have created for my students. New projects may replace those listed as my experience grows.