Great texts alone do not make a great class. Nor are great classes the result of flash over substance. No matter how much visual technology one uses—and I use a lot—teaching literature for me is mainly a matter of using the human voice to connect with my students. Teaching well involves caring about what you're teaching, how you're teaching, and whom you're teaching. Striving to bring to my students the sense of wonder and accomplishment that reading well evokes is my goal in every class. I have been teaching many years, but each semester I am reminded anew about this wonderful giving-back element possible in my profession. It springs from purposeful, positive, and memorable human interaction with so many fresh young minds—and, for all of us, retaining the best of what we have learned together.
As a college English teacher I try to engage students in two ways in the classroom: I explain and model basic knowledge in my discipline, and I create opportunities for students to use basic knowledge in classroom discussions and in formal and informal writing. The goal is to promote the critical thinking and creativity that produces scholars in my field and lively readers and writers in general.
At the core of my teaching philosophy is the belief that students come to classes with very different needs and abilities. I try to organize my classes around those differences, teaching the same course quite differently to different groups of students and providing options for students to customize a class to their own needs. It is my deepest hope that students will come away from the experience having learned to think I more clearly and deeply about their own lives.
I was fortunate to receive an excellent liberal arts undergraduate education which has provided the foundation of my teaching philosophy: to provide my students with the technical business knowledge they need for their initial positions, but also to help them place the operations of their businesses within the larger framework of our society. Profits are essential not only for the prosperity of the company, but also as a guide for maximizing the welfare of society as a whole.
I believe in learning by doing. My students and I learn best by doing useful research that serves the communities we live in. An ethical purpose, which helps students think about local and global relationships, inspires our work. For me this is advocating for the environment that sustains us.
I love biology and strive to show my students interesting approaches to basic biological processes. It is extremely rewarding to see my enthusiasm catch on in the classroom as my students begin to connect relevant concepts to real-world issues and gain confidence in their own abilities.
My goal is to help students to realize and actually "feel" the difference between memorizing and learning. The subject matter of my courses is a perfect backdrop for this. Both Statistics and Information Systems involve learning analytical tools and then applying them to a myriad of diverse real-world problems. If I can help students learn to "think critically", I believe I am teaching the most valuable of skills that will aid them in their long-term success.
As an art historian, my fundamental teaching goals are 1) to encourage students to experience actual art and architecture and 2) to help them develop the necessary critical thinking and writing skills that they need for both my class and their future careers. I enjoy teaching the large survey classes; many of these beginning students find the interpretive nature of art history both novel and difficult, yet most rise splendidly to the challenge. My own most rewarding teaching experiences take place every summer, when I live, learn, and experience art along with 25 undergraduates on our departmental study abroad program, Learning Tuscany, where we engage with spectacular art and architecture as part of our daily routine.
In each of my creative writing classes my goal is always to provide opportunities for each student to stretch her or his critical faculties, discover her or his own strengths, and craft her or his writing toward a unique product that is recognizably the single student's work. My belief is that good writers must be good readers and that the best way to discover one's own way is to understand how others have made a similar journey.
Successful teaching requires continual assessment of my teaching effectiveness and reflection on student success. Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of teaching is that no semester is ever the same. As an educator, I never want to be satisfied with the status quo. Every day of class, every syllabus, every assessment, every interaction with a student becomes a possibility for my own revision, invention and improvement.
I encourage students to always ask questions — of themselves, their society, their world. I ask them to exercise ceaseless curiosity. I implore them to use their energy and idealism to chronicle the hidden stories and the overlooked people.
My teaching philosophy is simple: Learn by Doing. I am fortunate that I am in a discipline where practical applications are not only important but fundamental to the curriculum. In the advertising field, hands-on, finished projects bear extreme importance. As a result of my project styled classes, I have found that my students have a level of confidence that comes as a result of hard work, of losing an advertising competition but being satisfied with the process of competing, and from doing all that it takes to win the attention of both the potential consumer, the national advertiser and ultimately the prospective employer.
My teaching philosophy is to help students realize their potential, to offer support, advice, and encouragement, and to help them fulfill their goals. My goal in teaching the Basic Statistics course is to help students develop strong critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills that will help them be successful in other courses and their future careers.
"They ask me why I teach, and I reply, Where could I find more splendid company?" This quote from a poem by Glennice L. Harmon sums up my love of teaching. It is ALL about the students! Each and every semester I have the privilege of working with students that are each exceptional in their own ways, and my goal in each class is to emphasize the love of learning.
Four principles drive my teaching: enthusiasm, encouraging curiosity, high standards, and getting to know my students. The high standards are for me and for my students. If they don't learn it is a failure on my part. For me, one of the best things about teaching is I learn things from my students. Encouraging curiosity leads to the best thing aspect of teaching, learning from my students. Every term I have students suggest an alternate solution or a new problem that keeps me interested in teaching.
For me, the classroom is a place to challenge students and have them recognize what they do not understand. My hope is that when they leave my class, they have the foundational knowledge and skills to find and interpret information for themselves as well as the confidence to say, "I don't know that, but I know how I can learn it."
A passion for learning combined with a sense of playfulness is key to get students to enjoy learning. My students are tomorrow?s teachers, and I try to teach them by example. They then can teach by example to their own students. Self-respect, mutual respect, academic achievement: all can flow from this passion, and the students in turn can open new doors for themselves.