Robert Schmidt, 2006, has been sharing his economic savvy with principles of economics students for the past two summers.
Schmidt says the best memories have to be the first time the class or an individual grasps an economic concept.
“There’s nothing quite like knowing you’ve shown someone a new idea or way of thinking that they can use for the rest of their life. The economic way of thinking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but seeing the class understand a new thought process is quite memorable. The biggest difficulty lies in the bridge between my understanding of economics and the students’ view of economic issues. I’ve spent years formulating my way of thinking and some things come naturally to me. Trying to place myself in their shoes to make sure they understand economics can be challenging, but rather enjoyable.”
Schmidt has also learned how difficult teaching can be.
“I’ve given plenty of lengthy presentations and answered questions from professionals and academics, but the inquisitive (and sometimes wandering) mind of a student really does keep me on my toes.”
Schmidt says that teaching at VU has increased his belief in the importance of economics in higher education. “Understanding economic concepts is critical for anyone, especially those working in government, business, and education.”
“Again, the most enjoyable moments are those when either an individual or a whole class snaps into understanding a complex idea.”