Discussion series offer support, encouragement to Faculty

Darcie Walkes

Darcie Walkes

Students are offered numerous activities, organizations and study groups in order to provide support and assistance throughout their college journey. But what type of support can faculty members lean on?

The upcoming Celebration of the Vocation of the Teacher faculty discussion series focuses on providing faculty members a source of encouragement and support for the teaching profession.

For Assistant Professor of English, Mary Haug, these workshops allow a time for camaraderie among teachers.

“For me, the mission is to celebrate this profession and have a chance to discuss with my colleagues why we teach, how we teach, and how we can continue to remain enthusiastic and positive about what we do,” Haug said.

Haug has spent 32 years of her life as a teacher. Her father encouraged her to consider teaching when she enrolled in college, since there were very few career options for women.

“I chose English because it was the one subject for which I had a passion … The good news is that I discovered quickly in my career that I also had a passion for the classroom,” Haug said.

Haug’s students can recognize her passion for English and the classroom, as well as appreciate her sense of humor. “I can honestly say that I can’t even imagine a better or more satisfying profession, unless I’d been a rock star like Tina Turner. Unfortunately, I don’t have the legs for it.”

James Tallmon, associate professor of communication studies and theatre, enjoys the teaching, as well as witnessing the students’ learning process. “I love to talk about ideas with people. I get a thrill out of seeing light bulbs switch on for people,” Tallmon said.

Tallmon has been teaching at SDSU since 1993. He believes the discussion series can offer a positive outlook to participants.

“[The purpose is] to rekindle in participants a love of the profession and to help cultivate intellectual community at SDSU,” Tallmon said.

Though these discussions are designed as faculty discussion groups, Tallmon says students won’t be turned away.

“We’re trying to focus on building community amongst faculty. Then, we’ll concentrate on spreading it around, involving students into discussion.”

Larry Rogers, associate professor of education and counseling, along with Tallmon and Haug, will lead the discussion series based on their favorite essays.

The discussion workshops provide the selected readings in a binder for each participant. Participants are expected to read the designated writings before discussion times.

“It’s a little more disciplined approach, but it should lend focus to the discussions that one rarely experiences when a roomful of professors get to going,” Tallmon said.