Historicky prvním nositelem titulu Učitel roku Fakulty informatiky a managementu UHK se stal Bc. James Buchanan White z katedry aplikované lingvistiky.
Putovní pohár a diplom převzal z rukou děkana profesora Hynka v úvodu slavnostního večera pořádaného ve čtvrtek 1. 12. 2016 v Aule Objektu společné výuky pro zaměstnance a partnery fakulty. V rámci večera zazněl koncert Věry Špinarové a kapely Adama Pavlíka. Po jeho ukončení se konala již tradičně sbírka pro nadační fond Novorozenec při Fakultní nemocnici v Hradci Králové, při které se vybralo 21 780,- Kč.Společenský večer se konal za podpory těchto firem: DERS, GIST, gmc software technology, vmware.„Učitele roku“ jsme se zeptali na jeho dojmy: You are a holder of the title Teacher of the Year at FIM. What does it mean to you?This award came as a great shock to me, and I am very grateful for the recognition. Dr Hynek´s idea is to make it a rotating prize, with a different person getting the award each year. I think this will be a great tradition and I am honored to be the first to receive it. It means a lot to me because I like what I do, even though it doesn´t fit neatly into the world of academics. Our university´s reputation will be assessed by the number and quality of journal articles and publications, and of course we need people to produce those. But we will also be judged by the quality of experience students have in the classroom, and that means we also need good teachers. This award recognizes that, and that is a positive thing.We live in a time when things are changing very quickly. Hundreds of years ago, when there were few experts and many learners, it made sense that education, the transfer of knowledge, was mostly a one=way transaction; the professor spoke, the students listened. Now when we are completely saturated by information, and can answer almost any question with a few swipes on a smart phone, that arrangement doesn´t make as much sense. Instead of a monologue, learning best happens as a consequence of a dialogue. That happens best in an active classroom, and while it can be augmented by technology, it will never be replaced by it.How long have you worked at FIM and how did you get this job (why FIM)?I was teaching at a local gymnasium when one of my colleagues there got a job at FIM. She suggested me to the management there, and I started soon after. This was in 1997. I like to say that I´m not getting older, but my students keep getting younger and younger! And by the way, that colleague is now the head of my department.
What do you most enjoy teaching?
I enjoy teaching the realia courses, which are mostly about history. Tourism students are no longer required to take the state exam, so those courses are not in such high demand. I very much enjoy teaching my conversation lessons, and the biggest challenge there is finding something interesting to talk about. How to talk about it, meaning grammar, vocabulary and so on = teaching that is easy enough and there are plenty of materials for it. What to talk about is harder, because in order for me to talk about something relevant I have to know a bit about the world and understand what my students´ priorities are. I usually begin by asking them why they are here. I mean that in a broad existential sense, as well as in a practical one. The young men and women in our classes could just as easily be out there in the world, working and earning money, but they chose to come here. It is interesting to find out that many students haven´t thought very much about that choice. Often an honest answer is “to get my diploma so I can get a good job,” and sometimes it is “ I want to learn something new.” I try to encourage the second response.
Are today’s students are different than 10-15 years ago?
Not really. One big difference is that 10 to 15 years ago smart phones didn´t exist. Now when you go anywhere, you see people whose attention is completely lost inside the screen of a phone, tablet or laptop. I call this screen time and I´m not sure this is a good thing. I do believe that constant screen time reduces the ability to pay attention, and it remains to be seen if the benefits of enjoying social media will outweigh the costs to privacy and relationships.
Do you have advice for students how to handle the curriculum without any problems?
A life without problems is called death. My best advice is to start early, don´t procrastinate, read, read, read, and travel as much as possible. One of the saddest things is when a student asks if this information will be on the test. The reason for this question is practical- they are asking if it is safe to ignore this information. Learning what to ignore can be a useful skill, but it can be fatal to curiosity if practiced too much. Stay curious.