Faculty Voices

What motivates teachers?
Answered by Shameema Sarker PhD
  • Shameema Sarker PhD

    Shameema Sarker PhD

  1. Shameema Sarker PhD Molecular Biologist & University of Phoenix Faculty Member

    Testimonial:

    So, first of all, why? Why am I motivated to teach? Because I'm doing research, and why do I want to explore this world of teaching? From that perspective, I would like to say a few words about it. So, what to me, what I think of, is that from the subdued lexis of the Lascaux cave paintings to the brisk escalation of the all-purpose Internet, the human brain has forever been concerned with the dissemination of knowledge. I, as an educator, feel that we hold the future and indeed the future of our entire planet in our hands. That is why I feel like I am a catalyst for others so that they can fulfill their dreams and they can pass the torch to the future generations.

    This is what my long goal is, to carry over that knowledge, to inspire people, to motivate them. I channel all my energy from my research work, all my enthusiasm into their world so they can see what I see. When you are super curious, you tend to look at things not using one or two lenses, but using multiple lenses, like the insect has a compound eye which consists of multiple lenses. So your world, you look at it from a 360 degree angle and for many of us, we might not even notice it because we look at it from one or two lenses. But for a curious minded person, he's going to look at it from all direction and things that other people are going to miss.

    There's an immense amount of information. I try to probe that into the students and tell them, okay you are missing this aspect. One of my favorite lines, no matter what course I'm teaching, whether it's astronomy, chemistry or biology, for many, many students I've gotten the same thing. "Dr. Sarker, you just opened up our eyes." That's amazing. That is what I look forward to. They tell me, "We never thought of it in this direction, you just opened up a whole new world for us." You know how much motivation I get from that? I mean, that is what I look forward to when I'm teaching them. That is my driving force.

    Every time I teach a course, I look forward to that when they are going to say, "This is what it is. This is the new world that we are exploring. And we are going to try and pass on this information to others." And that is all about it. Trying to carry this knowledge from one generation to the next generation.

    Inspiring that curiosity, inspiring that pursuit of knowledge, that's what I'm looking for. There should be an able source of knowledge for that also. Otherwise, all things are going to clog with garbage, and you don't want that. You want a good source of knowledge. I try to inspire that in the students. It's a two-way process. I get knowledge from them. I gain motivation from them and I also give it back to them. That's how I look at it.

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