The training and organization I bring to my classes and advisement duties has assisted me in learning how to simultaneously reach students at the top and bottom of the academic pool. I am a firm believer in active learning, and I try to maintain an exciting, humorous, reflexive, and interactive classroom. To me, teaching is not simply about lecturing to students; it is about presenting theories, concepts, and empirical material to students in a way that they can integrate this information into their own life experience. I encourage my students to participate in the type of active learning that only occurs when they both say and do activities related to the course.
I respect my students and I believe that all of them are capable, creative individuals that can bring unique talents and experiences to the classroom and it is my job to help them draw upon these experiences to facilitate learning. I believe that I must help my students bridge the gap between the classroom and the world. So I attempt to clarify and personalize difficult subject matter while encouraging independent thinking and analytical listening. I also attempt to use my background and experiences to respond to a range of learners needs. Thus, I constantly strive to provide my students with alternative pathways to learning.
In creating these path ways I endeavor to set high but realistic expectations for my students because I do not want to encourage a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. I believe that if I keep a positive attitude about my students’ ability to learn then they will in fact meet this challenge and rise to my expectations thereby, producing positive student outcomes. For me this is where I draw the connection between student effort and academic success.
Ultimately, I believe that learning is much broader than classroom activities. Learning is living; and to truly live we must constantly endeavor to learn. I view knowledge as a perspective on the horizon and it is my job to guide the students on a journey that leads them into a multitude of sunsets. However, although I am just an Instructor I have not simply limited myself to developing my teaching skills; I have also focused on the development of my own scholarship.