Every teacher should have a philosophy of teaching, and this is my work in progress.
The guiding principle in my philosophy of teaching is that teachers need to provide students with the necessary skills to take responsibility for their own learning. My role is to give students the opportunity to practice those skills. From the foundations of time management and personal responsibility through advanced rhetorical strategies and critical analysis and argumentation, the skills students learn and practice in my courses provide the needed framework for future success.
I want to teach students what they need to succeed in the course, in future courses, and in the workplace, but I also hope to instill in students a desire for lifelong learning. I want my students to become critical thinkers who will be able to look at the world around them in a new light. One of the most rewarding experiences in my life occurs when a past student tells me he/she can no longer watch a movie, read a book, or listen to a speech without analyzing and critiquing.
I try to create an open environment where students feel comfortable to engage in discussion, ask questions, and explore their creativity. In my opinion, passive learning is not possible. I think that to truly internalize knowledge, students have to actively engage with the material through analytic and argumentative writing and critical, creative, and multimodal projects. Paper and project assignments directly engage with content, but students have the opportunity to adapt assignments to their specific interests and talents as I believe by personalizing papers and projects, students are more invested and create more critical, more creative, and more interesting finished products.
I encourage continuous revision on assignments as I am a firm believer that the traditional production line style of completing assignments is antithetical to contemporary educational pedagogy and counterintuitive to creativity. Creating is a non-linear process that can only benefit from flexibility, re-viewing, and re-envisioning. My classroom is intentionally collaborative where students work together on group assignments and help each other on individual works. Sharing knowledge and experiences stimulates learning and helps students open their minds to new possibilities. The ability to adopt multiple perspectives is a needed and necessary skill in today’s diverse culture.
The use of technology to improve education is a central component of my teaching philosophy. The possibility for personalized education coupled with the opportunity for creative and critical expression makes technology an integral part of educational strategies. I use various pieces of tech for instruction, and I require students to engage with technology for learning and assessment.