Meet Dr. Neil Shanks
Why did you choose to come back and teach at Baylor?
“This is my home. Despite growing up in Iowa, my time as an undergrad instilled a deep love for Waco and particularly the schools that serve this community. This is a unique place with a great deal of challenges and a great deal of potential, and I relish the opportunity to be a part of this place in all of its complexity.”
How did the undergraduate program at Baylor prepare you for teaching?
“I was thoroughly prepared for a variety of school environments thanks to a ton of different field experiences. That left me confident that I would be successful anywhere, and let me know where and whom I wanted to teach.”
What would you tell a prospective student considering a degree in teaching?
“I would say there is no more fulfilling expression of your creativity than to work daily with dozens of unique kids from diverse backgrounds that have countless experiences from which to draw on in your classroom.
Teaching is truly an art, and one that has significant ramifications for the health of our world. I can't think of another profession that combines the immediacy of preparing the next generation of citizens and the boundless opportunities to do it in innovative and revolutionary ways.”
What do you think is special about Baylor’s SOE program?
“I think the SOE is special for a number of reasons, but what stands out to me is the faculty's commitment to developing teachers from the first semester through their intern year and even into their teaching career. That investment is critical to developing and sustaining educators committed to the profession.”
What is your favorite SOE memory?
"Honestly, my Social Issues class with Dr. Talbert blew my mind and changed how I saw the world. I had a lot of fun throughout my experience, but that is probably my favorite memory."
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