I feel that it is extremely important to normalize the necessity that, before being assigned any course (specifically in higher education), the teacher has a proven track record to help students achieve in the classroom. The best teachers I’ve had in higher education either have displayed a strong balance in both field and teaching experience or have much more field experience but have the inclination of gaining feedback from their students/peers on their teaching performance. This and a proven track record are also known as ACTIONS SPEAKING LOUDER THAN WORDS.
I could get any degree, let’s loosely say a Ph.D in this case, in any subject and be an atrocious teacher. I could get 61% in every single class I took and paper I wrote and have minimal at best field experience yet still have Ph.D., but would my backstory make me the “best fit” to teach the course? Do you see how flawed that is?
I don’t care if you have this award or that title; if you can’t read a room or have acted-upon proof that you can and do deploy proper teaching skills in the name of your students, you don’t deserve to be assigned the course. Plain and simple. Proper teaching skills, in simplest terms, means being resourceful and trustworthy to your students.
A friend of mine who works in education said that “the sad thing about professors is that they more likely than not don’t have teaching degrees, just a bunch of research in their background. That’s not bad per se, but their standard is set so high and they don’t ever learn how (people) learn.” My educational experiences fall directly in line with that and one of main reasons why working in an educational setting interests me. I might just create an entire post about this, but a specific something that I believe needs to be further disseminated within schools is mental health education. That means providing everyone involved with education further resources for learning about the spectrum of mental health. I believe that mental health awareness in academia can open the door for infinite improvement, improvement that can expand to other necessary topics of discussion like systemic racism, adulthood studies and personal finance.