Confucius said, “If you plan for a year, plant rice. If you plan for 10 years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, train men.” Through education, I try to plant seeds of inspiration in those I teach, whether my “students” are patients, caregivers, or health care professionals. My ultimate goal is to inspire others to become effective educators, thus creating a rippling effect that positively impacts the lives of future generations indefinitely through my students’ hands.
My professional interest and expertise is in pediatric physical therapy, and I like nothing more than to facilitate a desire in others to pursue this area of practice. My goal in the classroom is to instill a desire among our students to evaluate and treat children with disabilities. Not all will choose to work with these clients, but I have succeeded if they simply feel more confident working with them. My goal as a facilitator in my post-professional online courses is to direct these experienced physical therapists to resources that can enhance their knowledge and interactions with children with disabilities and their families.
Students have greatly diverse experiences and backgrounds at a graduate school of public health. My students are not only learners, but also teachers. I believe I must acknowledge and elicit the knowledge and experience of everyone in the classroom.
In order for young physicians to learn to treat all with respect and professionalism, they must be accorded the same from their mentors. Teaching the beginning surgeon involves not only tailoring the opportunity to the learner’s skill level but also putting the patient’s interests at the forefront of the care process, including intervening before complications arise.
We must teach humanity and professionalism through our actions, not our words. We must show genuine concern and compassion for our patients by taking the time to talk with them and their families at the bedside. We must teach our students that we serve our patients, not the other way around.
My role as in educator is to empower others to achieve success by helping them realize their fullest potential, by removing barriers from their path to achievement, and by giving them the tools for lifelong accomplishment. I focus my energy on three synergistic sets of professional goals: to conduct innovative research at the intersection of obesity and cancer prevention, to develop, evaluate, implement, and promote programs and policies to improve public health, and to improve the training, productivity, and work life of those in academia.
Gross Anatomy is a subject that is highly integrated and clinically relevant for all medical students. As educators, we have the responsibility to use any available method to help students make anatomy a part of their daily thinking, from old school (i.e. lectures, dissection) to new wave (i.e. team learning, digital models). Anatomy is a great opportunity to begin building the professional values necessary for clinical practice. When students return for an elective in fourth year, it is satisfying to see how well they have fulfilled the expectations we set for them in the first year.
My personal mission is to teach the next generation of doctors the “art of medicine,” namely quality clinical skills, including a good bedside manner, caring doctor-patient relationships, professionalism and intellectual curiosity. My aim is to provide the clinical foundation for the next generation of physicians.
Education is both the great equalizer and our bridge to a better future. So those who can teach should. And those that teach should do it well.
As the scope of orthodontics continues to change, so does the knowledge necessary for both the student and the practicing professional. As a teacher and educator, I recognize that my students are adults with different personalities, learning styles and learning preferences. I strive to employ outcome-based learning strategies so my students are prepared to provide excellent clinical care.
My goal as a teacher is to communicate concepts and controversies in Cancer Biology so that students perceive the unanswered questions in the field, allowing them to evaluate for themselves the problems that need to be solved. A Ph.D. student must find an original research project, a process abetted by understanding the didactic underpinnings in the field and how to approach the challenges we have yet to understand. Teaching thus becomes a continuing endeavor inside and outside the classroom, where I guide students to learn to teach themselves, challenge themselves, and advance our knowledge beyond what my generation has accomplished. During the process of a student attaining a Ph.D. in research, I have been successful when the student becomes the teacher and I become the student.
My clinical experiences remind me that cancer is the most complex and daunting problem of our times, one that may not be cured by this generation. I educate the next generation of scientists by teaching them the fundamentals of cancer therapeutics and by supervising them as they test these agents in the laboratory and apply them in the clinic. I strive to provide students the tools to test their hypotheses and the critical thinking skills to generate many more. I motivate these researchers to be optimistic and to tackle the disease in the hope of curing it.
In college and graduate school, I was introduced to the idea that science and philosophy were inseparable – scientific discoveries have important implications about philosophical ideas; philosophical ideas have important implications about scientific discoveries. By the time I became a faculty member, I was convinced that philosophy should be a part of graduate science education, and that every student should wonder, "Why do I believe what I think I know?" That conviction provides the inspiration for my teaching efforts.
I was extremely lucky to have the most amazing teachers and mentors who conveyed to me their love and excitement of learning and scholarly work. It has always been important that I continue the tradition of integrating the great work from the past with the rapidly expanding genetic information. My challenge is to grab my students’ interests using interactive techniques, and to encourage them to think bigger and deeper, to find their own answers, and to take ownership of the process.
I have found that education has always extended beyond the classroom or the laboratory. I believe when students bestow their trust in me by enrolling in my program, I not only have the obligation of providing them with the theoretical knowledge of the field, but also a duty to foster necessary critical thinking and people skills that can be used long-term. My style of teaching involves problem-based learning using measurable objectives that transition into a learner-centered classroom format.
The UTMB aerospace medicine program has the privilege of working with some of the most outstanding residents in the country, five of whom became astronauts. My educational philosophy is to provide residents with unique opportunities to learn, train and conduct focused research in operationally challenging aerospace environments with guidance from the best teachers and mentors in the field. While the residents become excellent specialists, I constantly remind them the most important part of their journey is to be a knowledgeable, compassionate and caring physician.
My expertise lies in the anatomical sciences, but my passion lies in communicating knowledge fundamental to the careers of caring and excellent physicians. Anatomy learned through dissection introduces new physicians to the wedding of humanism and science, a basis for the communication, cooperation and treatment skills incumbent in a health care team. I strive to distill difficult information down to basic concepts and principles that can be applied to solving problems. It is not what I teach, but how I teach and communicate that has the greatest influence on students. Serving as an educator role model, mentor and eventual colleague is how a true difference in the world can be made.
Teaching provides me with a tremendous source of personal satisfaction by giving me the opportunity to assist others in achieving their goals, and the privilege to teach should never be taken for granted. My teaching philosophy is simple - to inspire through enthusiasm. I cannot envision another career that could be more enjoyable than this.
My aspiration in teaching is to be an agent of change. This means building together certain habits of mind that unsettle convictions, contest assumptions and discomfort beliefs and their supporting conventions; moreover, these habits are meant to apply as equally to one’s own positions as to the authors one reads. The basic strategy is to subvert what is comfortably known as a means of hastening systematic reassessment and reconstruction. When this works, it not only inspires a healthy skepticism, it allows us to think and do things with fresh eyes, inventive arguments and confident knowledge.
Being clear and organized is only the minimum for a teacher. The educator’s challenge is to convey the excitement inherent in the subject. If that is successful, the students will learn the material not because they have to, but because they want to, and so they will look forward to being lifelong learners. The teacher’s task, and it is a most rewarding one, is to make the stars collide in the students’ minds.
Nursing education occurs in many clinical settings and communities where patients need empathic physical and emotional support. I seek to convey to my students the tremendous privilege and responsibility our profession has to bring evidenced-based skills and compassionate attitudes to our patients. A major focus of my teaching continues to be increasing interprofessional curricula related to substance use disorders, promoting prevention, screening and treatment for this important health problem.
My primary role as an educator is to create a student-centered learning environment that facilitates the learner’s discovery and acquisition of new knowledge, their development of skills of critical thinking, and their acquisition of strategies for lifelong, self-directed learning. This educational philosophy requires collaboration across disciplines, continuous assessment of current and innovative educational strategies, the embracing of change to achieve improvements in educational outcomes and the sharing with peers of best educational practices and experiences.
I feel that I have been a successful teacher when I see my students tackling a problem by coming up with a more creative solution than I can devise. There is no greater reward in teaching than watching the “aha” moment.
My teaching philosophy is to ignite passion and enthusiasm in students, using presented material to form building blocks for lifelong learning. I strive to transmit subject matter in a way that captures the imagination of the students and sparks a desire to further build on the material presented. I attempt to provide a learning environment that is comprehensive by using available board space to pictorially depict pathways to teach fundamental mechanisms; rather than rote memorization, this approach enables enhanced understanding and facilitates predictions of clinical manifestations of disease processes.
First, present what students need to know and teach it so that they understand and remember it. Second, create an atmosphere of enthusiasm for the subject and an attitude of critical thinking about everything. Finally, help them realize that learning is a lifelong process that can be guided by a need to understand something or just by curiosity.
Confluent education, or whole-person learning, is an enfranchisement of the affective dimension of learning alongside its cognitive and experiential dimensions. I believe educational approaches that attend to, enlist, and develop a student’s life to include values, interpersonal and intrapersonal capacities hold promise for the humanization of health care practices.
When I teach, I strive to render the complex simple. I try to make the road forward negotiable by pointing out twists and turns that confounded me as a student. Clarity makes pathology accessible and exciting. Engaged students build a solid foundation of pathology and pathophysiology upon which they place insights from their clinical training both in medical school and throughout their lives as practicing physicians.
Mediocrity is not an option. This basic philosophy reinforces the pursuit of excellence in both my teaching and dental practice. Today’s practice of dentistry requires our students to learn to be lifelong learners, analytical thinkers, problem solvers and critical self-assessors that use principles based on sound scientific evidence as independent providers of oral health care.
Teaching is a selfish activity. You get to learn new things all the time. You have the delight of presenting new ideas to others, and awakening new ways for others to experience the world. Countless students enlighten and enrich you with their own perspectives. You get to mold the future. What’s not to like?
My teaching philosophy is to be passionate, enthusiastic, and engaging during each lecture so that students are excited to learn more about the topic and become active, life-long learners. The future of biomedical science is in the hands of the students we teach, those we mentor toward careers as scientists and physicians. In research we are only as good as our last experiment; the students we mentor and their own students are legacies that will endure.
I seek to imbue health care professionals with a sense of higher purpose and to bring the idealism implicit in their choice of career to bear in practice. My specific goal is to encourage elements of professionalism complementary to technical proficiency and theoretical knowledge, in particular, those moral and social responsibilities that render the practice of health care more than mere employment and the practitioner more than a mere technician.
Even when you love it, teaching is not for the faint of heart. It is constantly challenging and unpredictable. My responsibility is to inspire students and facilitate their learning. They need facts, but more importantly, they need someone who is excited about the discipline to challenge them to think critically and to be a role model for how a professional thinks and acts. It is essential that my graduates, who are my legacy, contribute to patient care.
My goal is to shape medical students into caring and knowledgeable physicians. I teach Biochemistry from the standpoint of understanding the material for the observation of signs, consideration of their meaning, and determination of a course of action. In “Illness, Death and Grief,” I teach about communicating information and its impact on patients and families. When I interact with students, I affirm the value of each person’s time, ideas and self. Each aspect of teaching has its own role in the formation of an individual who is, in the totality of their being, a physician practitioner of the arts and sciences of medicine.
My approach to teaching is inspired by a simple thought: you can’t teach experience. I seek out educational methodologies that encourage active learning in a supportive environment. Observing students engaged in a process of discovery, or monitoring student progress in skills development, are some of my greatest joys of teaching.
My goal in the classroom is to create a teaching-learning team that works in both directions, communicating and keeping stress low and humor high while at the same time constantly challenging ideas. It is important to teach the facts and concepts, but also work hard at connecting the dots into a big picture that will “stick” and lead to creative and analytical thinking. I urge my students to take time to celebrate the Eureka/“got it” moments in real time while learning to thrive on failure and move forward despite it.
I am passionate about helping students become better thinkers, problems solvers, and in dealing with situations where optimal answers to important questions may not exist. Students in health professions have a mountain of data and information they have to navigate. I hope that teaching our students about the science of informatics and arming them with the necessary skills and tools to effectively manage this information will help them in making safe and effective clinical decisions throughout their career.
Being a physician is an enormous privilege. Patients trust us to practice up-to-date, evidence-based medicine. But the humanistic skills – listening, showing empathy, understanding the patient's point of view – are also key to effectively caring for our patients. I am passionate about teaching and finding ways to convey the excitement and challenge of clinical medicine to students and residents. I strive to convey the importance of both the science and the art of medicine.
Every learner is unique. My philosophy of teaching is learner-centered in that I assume the role of facilitator wherever the needs of the student predominate. I am committed to the process of lifelong learning and integration of innovative educational methods. Student and faculty mentoring have encompassed a large part of my educator role.
I view education and learning as a lifelong journey of exploration that extends beyond the walls of the classroom or laboratory. We must educate our trainees today in what was unknown yesterday, preparing them to competently discover the unknown of tomorrow. I believe positive learning is the best learning; I work hard to awaken my trainees’ own expectations, encourage them to aim high and build their confidence to challenge authorities. I view myself as a teacher, coach, sponsor and lifetime advocate of my trainees. I love teaching because it is truly rewarding to see them develop scientifically and succeed in their career, just like a mother seeing her children grow and thrive.