I Have Retired From Teaching

This is a self-indulgent post so consider yourself warned……….

I have just come to the end of my 25 year formal teaching career.  It began shortly after I received my Ph.D. in 1982 and ended when I turned the grades in on June 11, 2012 (with a few gap years).  I became a teacher by accident.  I first filled in at Lake Forest College when two faculty members became pregnant at the same time. Then, I was offered a position at The Chicago School (it was a small place back then) and eventually joined the Core Faculty in a half-time position.  I left as Full Professor 15 years later.  Unexpectedly, Northwestern offered me an opportunity to teach an Adult Development course and I’ve done that for 10 years.

For someone like me, whose business is reflection, ending this aspect of my career is a biggie but, I want to concentrate more on writing and need the time to do it.

Now we get to the really

self indulgent part.

What have been the best aspects of teaching psychology grad students for more than 25 years ?

1. I feel like I have been involved in the future direction of psychological practice. Teaching legitimizes adding my 2 cents to the dialogue.

2. I see hope, optimism, commitment, excitement and intelligence in the students and I need to believe that those qualities will continue in mental health care.

3. Teaching has encouraged (forced) me to keep up intellectually because I don’t want to look foolish in class.

What have been the worst aspects of teaching?

1. I don’t think that we are adequately teaching the skills that are required in the real world.

2. I believe that too many programs are cranking out too many students who cannot find adequately paying jobs.

All in all, teaching has been very good to me.  I learned a lot and have been treated well and I hope that I returned the favor to the generations of students who participated in my classes (and laughed my jokes). Thank you.


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