Jim Mostofo is one of Grand Canyon University’s dedicated and passionate College of Education faculty members who focuses on preparing future high school teachers.
Jim was inspired to pursue teaching after connecting with a few of his own middle school and high school teachers and coaches. In particular, his middle school basketball coach and high school math teacher had a significant impact on him in his younger years and they later became both mentors and friends.
“So I became a high school math teacher and basketball coach,” Jim recounts. In this way, throughout his years of teaching at GCU, Jim has encouraged his students to teach in a way that counts, where they can make a similar impact on their own students.
Faith and the College of Education Community
Jim says it is faith that makes the College of Education so unique. Having taught at another university before arriving at GCU, Jim says he enjoyed it, but the faith component was simply not there. In his classes at GCU, Jim has seen that most of his students feel a calling from God to become teachers so they strive to make a difference in this world and answer that calling.
As a professor fulfilling that calling as well, Jim says the most rewarding part of seeing his former students in the field teaching is watching them help his current students. They allow current students to shadow and observe them as well as come back and speak in some of Jim’s classes. When asked about his favorite part of teaching at GCU, Jim reflected on these relationships and how amazing it is to see the impact his students are making on future generations, which has left him with an overall feeling that he is where God has called him to be. Humbly, he shares how lucky he is to be in this spot.
Advice and Words of Wisdom for Educators
For anyone in the teaching world or considering becoming an educator, Jim has several words of wisdom that have been given to him and that he passes on to his students:
- Great teachers are the ones who connect with their students and are simply there. Every single day, they are consistent and do a “very good” job.
- You can never teach the “perfect” lesson. As a teacher, always strive to be better.
- Teaching is a humbling profession where you teach students, not subjects.
- You can do this job very well if you feel God calling you to be a teacher, but that does not mean you won’t have to work at it. Instead, the opposite is true – you have to fulfill that calling.
When asked what he wants his students to take away from their education and community at GCU, Jim said, for their education, he wants his students to get as much practical experience as possible. For their community, he wants them to meet as many friends as they can: “College is a special time that you never get again so I want them to experience things here on campus and have fun.”
Grand Canyon’s College of Education is full of dedicated professors teaching a wide range of degree programs. Like Jim Mostofo they find purpose in God and seek to share that with their students. To learn more, visit our website or request more information using the button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.