Selected by faculty and students of Hastings College, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Jessica Allen-Pickett was given the honor to speak at HC’s annual Invited Faculty Lecture. Entitled “Baking, Teaching and Service”, Allen-Pickett’s speech shared some of her biggest life lessons while also incorporating her biggest passions and baking cookies in the Chapel.
“Teaching and baking are very similar, and both can be used as a service to others. There’s an educator named Michael Fullan, and in his opinion to strive to improve how we live together is the highest moral purpose. I read that quote a few months ago and it really stuck with me, so I really tied all that together in my lecture,” Allen-Pickett said.
Allen-Pickett dove into what it means to live a life of moral purpose, and how one can use their own passions and talents to incorporate service into their everyday life.
“One of the things that I explored in my lecture is what service looks like, and do we always have to look at it in that traditional lens of joining the peace corps or volunteering in all of our free time, or can that look different,” Allen-Pickett said.
Allen-Pickett concluded that the answer to this question is most certainly yes. She began to consider teaching and baking as acts of service when she realized that they both provide an opportunity to share with others.
“The most important similarity between baking and teaching is that they both come alive, and have true and lasting impacts when they are shared. Once these cookies are done baking, they are just cookies, but they become something magical when shared with others. When you share a baked good they become joy,” Allen-Pickett said. “As an educator, I am sharing information in hopes that I can support the learner in the construction of knowledge. Each time you gain information and construct that information into knowledge, improvement occurs. So, as an educator I am working to help benefit others.”
Allen-Pickett encouraged her audience members to consider and converse with other audience members about how they might be able to use their own skills to share with others. She ended her speech by relating it to the mission of HC education, and challenging her audience to remember the lessons they learned at HC throughout their lives.
“The kind of holistic education you are getting at HC is setting you up to be caring people who strive to serve one another, thus improving the quality of how we live together, giving us a moral purpose,” Allen-Pickett said.