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Southern Illinois University Law Journal





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Next to fatherhood and my faith, teaching is what matters most to me, and yet it has been filled with failures as well as undeniable fulfillment and joy. I hope to enrich the lives of teachers who will replace me behind the podium, and that this article will serve as both an inspiration and a warning to new professors and those contemplating life in academics.

I offer the following guidance. Look outside yourself so you can look within yourself and then share what you find with the world. Actively seek the friendship and guidance of others, especially those from different tribes and traditions. Spend time in the legal trenches, doing “real” law, to develop your skills, identify your interests, and sprout that special empathy that comes only with getting your buttocks trounced in court. And once you enter teaching, remember that writing what you know is fine for starters, but writing what you seek to discover, both within yourself and externally, is the surest route toward self-fulfillment and professional growth.

Recommended Citation

John W. Teeter, Jr., Perils and Pontifications: Reflections on the Failures and Joys of a Law Teacherm 37 S. Ill. U. L.J. 53 (2012).

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