Why I teach

At the end of each semester, I show my class a video by Drew Dudley called Leading with Lollipops. It’s important, I think, that students know how important kindness and gratitude are, but more important, how important their impact is on others. I end it — when I’m in person and not on Zoom — by handing out a lollipop to each student and tell them that they’ve each given me a multitude of lollipop moments. And I mean it.

One of my students, Sami Snellings, collected appreciations from dozens — 43 — of my former students plus one of my daughters, Dean Susan King and Senior Associate Dean Charlie Tuggle about the teaching award I received. It’s taken me four days to get through because I am not the greatest in handling praise. I’m embarrassed by it, which a number of students noted. And because I have to stop to wipe away tears.

It’s humbling and fulfilling. I include it here not so much to share but to keep it for myself. There are some days when I need this.

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