I want to voice my whole-hearted support for Voice Lessons. It's one of the best experiences of both scholarly and teaching enhancement I've had in recent years, hi fact, I think it's an experience that needs to be marketed more readily to the entire UTM faculty. While I know that Margrethe and Doug send the Voice Lessons brochure each year, I think the UTM Administration should do more to encourage all faculty to take advantage of this workshop that exists right here in our own back yard.
It has been so beneficial to both my teaching and scholarship to interact so intensely with my colleagues from around campus to share both our successes and frustrations, to share our goals for our teaching, our students, and our writing. I'm so encouraged by the quality of teaching these faculty members seek. They also seek quality of learning by students, which I'm not entirely certain UTM as an institution wholly supports yet in demonstrable ways.
One of our discussions this week centered on student preparation for class on a regular basisóor should I say their regular lack of preparation. There was almost unanimous consensus that far too many students are consistently unprepared for college work in general, let alone unprepared for class each day. Some of their lack of preparation can be attributed to normal immaturity or lack of sufficient preparation for the expectations that would be placed on them once they reached college. But we almost all agreed that the problem is also due to a lack of caring and a sense of entitlement on the part of many students, which is fostered when faculty decisions about a student's poor performance are overturned. The UTM Administration must let students know in no uncertain terms that while faculty are here to support them whole-heartedly in their educational endeavors, and breaches of appropriate faculty conduct or faulty faculty evaluation of a student will be corrected, the students themselves must take serious responsibility for their own education and produce quality work in all their classes. And when faculty hold students to high standards, UTM must back up its faculty should students challenge those standards because they chose, for whatever reason, not to perform to those standards.
I look forward to the rest from teaching that the summer will bring, but Voice Lessons has made me quite enthusiastic about getting back into the classroom next Fall and trying out some of the critical thinking and learning activities shared by my colleagues each day this week. And meanwhile, the daily writing demands of the workshop have resulted in multiple possibilities for scholarship, which I might not have even by the end of the summer were it not for the Voice Lessons expectations. I have no doubt that I will be repeatedly taking advantage of this workshop while I am a member of the UTM community. I look forward to the relationships with other UTM faculty that my future involvement with the Voice Lessons workshop will provide.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.