Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 10:20:48 -0500 (EST)
Random Thought: My Teaching Credo

This ia the core principle of my teaching, my first principle, around which everything I believe and do revolves:

                To help each student become the 
                person he or she is capable of becoming
. By "capable" I mean in terms of untapped potential and unrealized growth; unrealized growth not merely in terms of grades, GPA, diploma, and profession or job. I mean "capable" also in those things that are important during what I call the "alone and quiet" times with oneself: serenity in the face of confusion and conflict, inner stamina against those who would strip away your uniqueness; personal "greatness" without grandiosity; continuous quest.

This is not just a statement about what I do, how I feel, what I think. It is a statement about who I have become and am becoming.

I truly believe that my identity and integrity as a teacher is rooted in being a life-giver and life-affirmer, in being a lid-lifter and value-adder. I would describe that mission as one of being a servant teacher who turns the focus away from myself onto each and every student, who finds out what each student needs, who serves the needs of each student, who consistently and constantly puts each student first in my feelings and thoughts, who does whatever it takes--not just my best--to meet those needs with hope, faith, belief, love, care, persistence, and determination.

And so, at the end of the term, when each student thinks about me, do they say, "My life is better because of him. I am a better person for having known him. He made a difference." That's the ultimate and only true evaluation.

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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