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40 Years of Teaching

Posted by Heather Black | August 20, 2012 / 05:38pm | Local News
STARKVILLE, Ms. (WCBI)Today was students first day back to school at Mississippi State University. One Mississippi State professor celebrates a milestone in his career.

"I saw these 35 students all looking into the front of the room like they were expecting something like a teacher. And I have the strongest urge to just dive behind that counter and kind of hide there and wait for them to give up and go away," said Tom Carskadon.

Psychology professor Dr. Tom Carskadon looking back on the first day of teaching...40 years ago. Lucky for his students he decided to stay and teach that day; which has allowed him to be one of the most respected professors at Mississippi State University. Throughout the years, there have been advances over time that have changed the methods of teaching since 1978.

"I think the university has grown obviously a great deal in size. We have a lot of technology that's on board now that goodness gracious we wouldn't even have dreamed of 40 years ago, but it's for the good," said Carskadon.

When you have taught as long as Dr. C. changes are inevitable, but the student's eagerness to learn is something that has remained the same.

"I'm not sure students have changed that much. I mean supposedly this is a way different generation and these are visual learners, but really 40 years ago I had bright interesting and enthusiastic students now I have bright interesting and enthusiastic students," said Carskadon.

Finding new ways to connect with students can be difficult, but Dr. C. has discovered there is more to the student than their letter grade.

"Realizing that every single student has a story. And that it is so much worth the time and investment to find out about it," said Carskadon.

Being able to do what he loves has allowed Dr. C. to teach for 40 years and he says he is having too much fun to stop now.

"Right now is getting more and more frequent that I am teaching the kids of kids I've taught before. And when it gets to be the grand kids or the kids of the kids I've taught before then maybe, I will think about stopping," said Carskadon.

Dr. Tom plans on celebrating 60 years of teaching before he retires.
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