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Michael Powell Recognized by University of Tasmania for Excellence in Teaching | Examiner

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Michael Powell could often be seen pacing around a University of Tasmania classroom as he dissected the intricacies of human history and classical literature to his students. The pace may have been off-putting for some students, but for Mr. Powell, in his own words, it was the only way for him to “hear” what was going on. Despite his deafness, Dr Powell excelled as a teacher, often praised by his students for his energy and enthusiasm in lectures and classes. As they say “those who can and those who cannot teach,” Dr Powell has proven that teaching is a passionate profession and a rewarding vocation, an attitude that recently earned him an Distinguished Service Medal. ‘UTAS. “Like I said, you just found techniques, and you found methods to be able to turn them to your advantage rather than withdrawing, because the temptation of deafness is that you withdraw socially”, a- he declared. “The thing is, it’s hard work, you have to concentrate. And what people don’t realize is how exhausting it can be.” Teaching can be a calling, it’s a gift for you, and it’s a gift to be able to do it. IN OTHER NEWS: Dr Powell was also honored in 2012 by UTAS when he received the Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, his dynamic teaching style receiving praise, especially in history. It’s a feeling you have to be crazy to teach, to be an educator, pseudo-life coach and mentor, but Mr. Powell’s path of teaching was far from straightforward. He worked on a farm, working the land with cows, which are “talkative shit” before returning to UTAS to undertake doctoral studies, this is where his teaching career began, with a little hesitation. “I thought, now, that I don’t want to do this. And then I did, and I found it extraordinarily pleasant and not only that, I suddenly realized that I was really good at it.” , did he declare. “That’s what you do as a teacher, you teach teaching, not just your subject, but life. And one of the things about teaching is you don’t teach not the material you teach in the tangents, you teach in the secondary paths, “he said.” This is where the teaching takes place, this is where the memorable teaching takes place. ” Dr Powell briefly quit teaching after an argument between him and former politician Andrew Nikolic but, in a whim of fate, Buddhism brought him back. The eccentricity of the story, Tasmanian at its core, has become the basis for a doctoral dissertation and a book for Powell. During his time away from teaching, Dr Powell met a former Sri Lankan school teacher, a monk by coincidence, who referred in Buddhism doctrine, the Brahmavihara.They discussed the concept of mudita, in essence, the joy of accomplishment and in the success of others. he fortuitous meeting but revealing for him, to bring him back to the vocation which had been a call as mu ch as work. “I suddenly realized what inspired me as a teacher. It was the joy of accomplishing other of my students, the realization that many of them were better than I ever would be.” , did he declare. “They were smarter than I ever would be. And rather than feeling anything other than pure joy, being able to watch and feed, that’s where my pleasure comes from.” Now retired and battling terminal cancer, Dr Powell reflects emotionally on a life dedicated to shaping the minds of Tasmanian youth and enabling them to think critically. “I am also extremely grateful for what he has given me, for what he has done for me and for the contact I have had, with so many students,” he said. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:

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