I’m so glad you’re here, reading about the Department of Educational Studies on our website! Whether you are taking a first step in exploring a possible vocation in teaching, or you are a current student looking for a professor’s email address, or you are a proud teacher and IPFW grad, checking to see what’s new on the old Mastodon stomping grounds—welcome!
Here in the College of Education and Public Policy, we have something like a mantra, a short phrase that guides us in our day-to-day work: Do public good. All of our programs in the college prepare students for careers of service to society. I personally believe that teaching is the most important of these (but don’t tell my colleagues in the other departments I said this!). In the words of former President Arthur Levine of Teachers College Columbia, “While education is perhaps the slowest means to social change, it is the only means.”
Being a teacher isn’t just socially significant service, it is an intellectually stimulating, spiritually fulfilling labor of love. I am a former first-grade teacher, and opening young minds to the wonders of the world is the most rewarding and joy-filled work I’ve ever done. It is an honor to invite (or welcome or commend) your work in this profession.
What are you most passionate about? Imagine yourself sharing that passion with a group of young people. What content and age level came to your mind? The Department of Educational Studies offers dozens of programs preparing teachers for work in classrooms from preschools to high schools, with a variety of subject area specializations. I urge you to explore our programs and find the one that is most exciting for you. Department faculty bring a wide range of experience and expertise to our courses. Explore our pages also, and find someone with whom you might connect. Send us an email—we’d love to hear from you.
It isn’t an easy road, as the current and former students reading now would attest. There is a lot to study and learn, but there is also a great deal of personal reflection and growth involved in becoming a teacher. It is a truism in education that teachers teach more by who they are than by what they do. As Louis Menand has written, “Teachers are the books that students read most closely.” You would be (or will be or are) a great read—and an edifying one. Thank you for considering a vocation in teaching.
Isabel Nuñez, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Educational Studies
Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
Neff Hall, Room 250Q