Friday, November 07, 2008

Campus Visit is a Pointed Reminder
Of What Sets Great Teachers Apart

Today I got to enjoy my semi-annual visit to Dr. Dick Hendrickson's literary journalism class at John Carroll. I wrote about my earlier visits, in 2004 and in 2006. But each time it feels new and refreshing, because of course the students are always new and refreshing. One highlight this year was meeting Jenna Lo Castro, a star writer for the campus paper, the Carroll News, whose work I'd occasionally read, and whom I had also read about when the JCU alumni magazine profiled her (scroll to pg. 26). You can sample her columns here and check out her blog for the JCU Admissions Office here. Anyway, in that profile, she touchingly recounts what a fine mentor Dick (known as Dr. H around campus) has been to her.

She isn't the first student to feel that way, and she won't be the last. It was lovely as always to watch his light and loving touch with students. It reminded me once more of an old truism: great teachers get inside our heads not merely because they serve up good information (however crucial that is), but also because they love their students even more than they love their subject. A tip of the hat to great teachers like Dick, who remind us that in learning, the head only takes you so far. Combining head and heart is what it's really all about.


Post a Comment

<< Home