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Reflections on Teaching: A Passion for Learning

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BSU Professor Dr. Mark Christensen discusses his teaching career and love of language

I teach for pleasure…I can't predict what they're going to generate which I love about this teaching of English and particularly teaching writing. I don't know ahead of time what the subject is, and so I'm always learning, and it's always different…. Culture creation is certainly one of the things I try to teach prospective teachers…Culture is a matter of being trustworthy… So my teaching is more listening than it is directing. It's quite opposite the teaching that I did early in my career… I'm into the flow…but the flow happens only with true engagement, which doesn't happen if you are distant. – Dr. Mark Christensen

Bemidji State University English professor Dr. Mark Christenson recently published a collection of essays and poetry at the encouragement of his student, who became the editor of the book, Joanna Dymond. In this Area Voices segment, Dr. Christensen discusses the joys of teaching English, his lifelong love of words and language, how he changed his own mentality in order to change the culture in his classrooms, and how it feels to be facing retirement after 46 years on the school clock.

…teaching has been wonderful. I don't know how job could ever be more satisfying than teaching has been for me. – Dr. Mark Christensen

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.