The basis of my teaching philosophy is a synthesis of education, research, experience, teaching, and service that brings a unique perspective in actively engaging students throughout the learning process. My teaching objective is to serve the students’ needs, create a fun and interesting environment to learn in, and act as a mentor in the process.
Although there is much literature on the process of learning, I feel that the process is rather simple. There is more to the process of learning than simply dumping the information onto a students lap. In our current society we do not lack access to information. Students can get information in books, on the Internet, on their phones, and other remote devices. The educational process is an experience that not only teaches new information to the students, but assists in the students finding themselves. It is a process of learning who they are and how they can improve their selves.
I feel that students cannot be pushed into learning, but that they can be motivated to learn, to research, and to question by relating material to something of interest to them. This creates a spark in the critical thinking process and inspires them to research their questions and to think critically. The goal of improving the students’ ability to think critically assists in the students’ ability to articulate their thoughts in a constructive and convincing manner. The easiest way to do this is to relate ‘real life’ experience with the theoretical concepts that are being introduced.
It is an advantage to have the ability to bring a broad perspective and experience to the classroom as it enables me to relate difficult concepts to a diverse array of students and their abilities. Translating ‘real world’ business experience into the theoretical aspects of the material helps connect students to the purpose of learning the material and simply makes it more enjoyable and enabling the students to retain and apply their newfound skills.
Teaching is more than serving as a talking head; it is a reaching out to the students to help them accomplish their academic pursuits. I believe that passion is a critical piece in teaching effectively and I use the Socratic method as a base for my passionate teaching style and engage the students in providing candid feedback to me and to other students. I use many analogies to put complex technical information into an understandable and meaningful perspective. This style of teaching is not a dumping of information onto the students, but a creation of a spark, an interest for the students to seek more information from the teacher. This is a challenging process, but much more rewarding.
It is not enough to simply serve as a teacher of information showing students what I know. I feel that it is just as important to show an emotional intelligence, an understanding of their struggles, and to serve as a mentor and coach to students providing guidance and strategic direction on how to complete assignments, approach research, and articulate their thoughts.
The focus of my teaching philosophy is on the synthesis of education, research, experience, teaching, and service into a well-rounded approach to making a difference in each of the student’s lives. I believe that each of them is capable in achieving their academic goals and simply need some guidance, support, and someone to believe in them throughout the process. This is what I believe distinguishes great educators.