College of Languages, Linguistics & Literature
Dr. Richard Day of the Department of Second Language Studies maintains that for effective teaching to take place, it is necessary to treat students fairly, with integrity, and with respect. And when an atmosphere of trust is established in the classroom, learning can take place. A core practice and foundational principle in Professor Day’s development as a teacher is to be a reflective teacher, generating journal entries throughout the week that examine his beliefs, assumptions and teaching practices. These critical reflections reveal where to make adjustments, anticipate aspects that may be challenging to students and begin reorganizing for the next class. Professor Day approaches his professional accomplishments with the quality of humility but the students and colleagues express frank admiration and commendations for a teacher “deserving of a lifetime achievement award for his brilliance as a teacher, and as a definitive professional of world renown.” Dr. Day combines leading-edge knowledge with an enjoyable, engaging classroom presence inspiring students to envision the art and science of teaching as achievable for them “rather than as a form of unreachable wizardry.” His student-centeredness encourages creativity and innovation in students who initially approach research as a daunting enterprise. A long-term colleague reflects on how uniquely students respond to Professor Day’s role in their intellectual life, one student writing that “Each Tuesday and Thursday I wake up with such joy and anticipation, knowing that I am coming to SLS 303.” Another student inspired by his impact on her intellect and her chosen field of study concluded her statement of support for him with a poem composed to highlight his career. Dr. Richard Day’s teaching contributions have far reaching impacts beyond the countless students in his courses, as evidenced in his inauguration over 20 years ago of a graduate course still available to any department that wishes to utilize it to develop an apprenticeship in teaching to benefit graduate students bound for academic lives.
Department of Second Language Studies