Sociology professor Ada Haynes has taught at Tech for 20 years, working to inspire a love of learning in herstudents by creating an engaging classroom experience. She helps them learn through programming with the One World organization and the sociology club.
V: Did you always want to be a teacher?
AH: No. I realized when I was a teaching assistant. To get up in front of a class and interact with students was something I really enjoyed, plus the research and service as well. Knowing I could do all three was exciting.
V: What lessons from your professors help in your classroom?
AH: They taught me the importance of getting students involved in the subject. They taught me you need to develop a sense of teaching beyond the classroom. It’s not just the hour and a half that you’re in the class; it’s all the extra things you do to get the students involved in learning. The more you can get students to engage inside and outside the classroom, the more they learn.
V: What is your most memorable classroom moment?
AH: One of the most amazing things about teaching is seeing your students be successful. Taking 26 students to the Southern Sociological Society meeting and watching them get offers for graduate school and hearing people from schools like Duke say that my students do better research than theirs is one of my more memorable moments of teaching.
V: What is the biggest challenge you face in teaching?
AH: One of the hardest things is when students think they don’t want to be in the classroom. They don’t understand that college is more than a grade; it’s an opportunity. A lot of kindergarten students start out inquisitive and creative, but lose that excitement. You have to help them find it, so they understand the joy of learning again.
V: If you could live in any time period in history or the future, what would it be?
AH: Today is very exciting; there are so many changes taking place. My students seem to be making a difference in the world. I want to be able to see what differences they have created in their lives.