LFA President Tobin F. Terry’s remarks at the November 3, 2022 Lakeland Board of Trustees Meeting, delivered with the hope of helping the trustees understand what it means to be an educator at Lakeland.
Dr. Beverage, Chairperson Vitaz, and Board of Trustees,
I’m Tobin Terry, President of the LFA.
We have 124 full-time faculty who come from some of the top programs in the country and/or have invaluable real-world experience in applied fields.
These faculty specialize in their academic areas, but are also expert teachers. They understand our students and strive to inspire them to realize their full potential.
Our faculty know that teaching is more than disseminating information to a group of students.
Teaching is holding office hours to meet one-on-one with students who need additional help, who want to get caught up after an absence, or who crave additional knowledge beyond the course content.
Teaching is creating a classroom environment where students feel seen, valued, and safe–an environment where they can ask questions without fear of judgment and build connections with fellow students that will benefit them beyond the classroom.
Teaching is providing meaningful feedback to students, communicating in written and oral form what the students’ strengths are and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Teaching is creating meaningful lesson plans and assignments in response to the specific needs of the students in the room, needs that can only be determined if the instructor has the opportunity and the drive to get to know their students as humans instead of rows in a gradebook.
Lakeland’s faculty members have this opportunity and this drive to educate the whole student, identifying individual needs and working to meet them in the classroom, during office hours, or through referrals to campus resources.
Our combination of education, experience, and dedication, in collaboration with dedicated staff and college leadership, are why Lakeland has such a positive reputation not just in our own community but nationwide.
In the interest of demonstrating our value as potential participants in your discussion of equity, inclusion, and diversity, and other consequential decisions, and with the goal of helping you understand the tremendous work being done in Lakeland classrooms, including why small class sizes and personal connections are vital to student success, members of the Lakeland faculty are inviting you to join us in our classrooms. I will be in touch soon with names, dates, and times of classes that faculty are personally inviting you to attend. I urge you to accept.
We love what we do, and we’re damn good at it. We look forward to sharing that with you.