Educational Theories,  Podcast,  Teaching & Learning

Transform Your Teaching: Servant Teaching with Professor Jim Leightenheimer

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dr. Robert McDole and Jared Pyles have a conversation with Jim Leightenheimer—“Mr. L”—who challenges faculty to build relationships with students outside of the classroom. Check out the episode to hear about the importance of mentoring relationships with students and preparing them for life after academics. 

Podcast links

Show notes

“If we work marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds and instill into them just principles, we are then engraving upon tablets which no time will efface, but will brighten and brighten to all eternity.” – Daniel Webster 

Mr. Leightenheimer believes that a key element of servant teaching is knowing your students well. He does this by building relationships with them to identify their desires and skills. He wants to create a passion for course content but also wants to be more than just a content deliverer. This kind of approach to teaching requires time and investment in your students. 

Mr. L challenges faculty to meet with students outside the classroom, be it through co-curricular activities (in his case: through student-run radio “Resound,” conferences, and team-building trips) or through advising sessions. These activities create opportunities for us to recognize a student’s unique gifts and seek out opportunities for students so that they can use their gifts effectively.  

He also realizes the importance of preparing students for life outside of college. Mr. L makes connections with his network of alumni to help meet students’ needs of finding future employers. He has built a substantial network of professionals and alums to provide opportunities for students to connect with mentors.


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