The coifed, crisply articulate, somewhat pontificating shell had to dissolve so my students could get to the real stuff: truth.
Like Calliope in Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, I was not aligned with my inner being. I needed to transform.
I became a quirky, sometimes dishelved, yet authentic instructor, and I did it in order to stir the axis of student ideas and curiosities so that they too could transform. Although our struggles are not necessarily the same as those of Calliope, my students and I are like Calliope in that we are all somewhere in the "middle" of our interiors and striving to fully evolve.
I now demand that my teaching be more reality-driven, predicated on qualitative and quantitative modalities. My class culture is more receptive to broad ideas and commentaries; multimodal media is used; and an action-oriented approach to problems is enforced.
I expect authenticity, evolution, and edification.
--Ron Gladden, Beckfield College, Florence, Kentucky
3 years of teaching