Gladly LEARNING and Gladly TEACHING
Professor Janice Fuller flips through the pages of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to find the passage that describes her best.
Here it is. She reads it in the Middle English. "And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teache."
Gladly learn and gladly teach. That's it. That's why this professor of English at Catawba College won both the Teacher of the Year Award and the Swink Prize for Outstanding Teaching in the same year.
Faculty can't recall anyone else winning both awards at the same time. Of course, they probably can't recall anyone who gives more of herself to her students either or anyone who approaches teaching with the white-hot intensity she does.
Even when she's standing still, her whirling dervish of a mind is scattering a thousand ideas around the classroom and then, just as quickly, it is making connections and bringing them back together into a unified whole. Her kind blue eyes are telling a student that he has special talents and that together they will draw them to the surface.
She wants her students to experience the sheer joy of life. "In my literature classes I want them to be infused with this absolute excitement about the written word," she says, "about the beauty of what can be accomplished. But, more than that, I want them to feel an awe about life itself."