About Heather A. Javaherian-Dysinger, OTD
Teaching is a complex process involving the dynamic interaction between the students, teacher, and the knowledge. It is ever-changing affected by the individual values and life experiences of each student that enters the virtual classroom. The power of teaching is found in the strength of the connections between the students, teacher, and knowledge. It is essential to form a community of learners in which the students and teachers have a balanced and interactive responsibility to each other. “The learning community is the vehicle through which learning occurs...” (Palloff & Pratt, 1999, p. 29). I will strive to foster an online community of respect and learning. This complex process requires creativity, knowledge, and a passion on the part of the educator. It requires teaching from the heart. As such, I echo Parker Palmer’s (2007) sentiments on teaching, “To educate is to guide students on an inner journey toward more truthful ways of seeing and being in the world”. There is a responsibility to instill values of life-long learning, leadership, caring and ethics. These values help prepare the student to become a leader with a vision and commitment to enhance practice with their understanding of the occupational nature of man, the necessity of research, and their mission to promote occupational justice and participation.
Learning is self-reflective. Self-reflection allows the student and educator to examine his or her learning and teaching strategies coupled with the actual experience. Reflection should be introspective and challenge the student and educator to assess progress and areas for growth. Students are expected to take responsibility in pursuing their quest for knowledge and actively participating in discussions with peers and faculty. We are on a journey together for knowledge, excellence, and the ability to affect change in ourselves and society.
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective
strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey=Bass.
Parker, P. (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life,
(10th Anniversary Edition). Jossey-Bass.