- Create an Authentic Student and Instructor Relationship.
Be oneself. This simple statement has proven to be one of the most valuable pieces of teaching advice I’ve been given throughout my first year of teaching. I could not count the number of instructors I have had offer their version of that advice. On much reflection, I’ve determined that one of my greatest strengths in the classroom is my personality and the student alliances that are built through an authentic and caring personality. I’ve learned to channel that strength instead of focusing on weaknesses of it. As instructor, I serve as both a role model and a partner in their educational journey. My personality inside and outside of the classroom serves me well in these roles as I convey my love of the subject and employ my affable attitude.
- Facilitate Successful Student-to-Student Learning Experiences through Collaborative and Cooperative Learning.
While an instructor’s personality plays a large and often under-emphasized role in educating students, students often play a large and often under-emphasized role in educating one another. Students have the potential to help one another truly understand a lesson; the instructor needs purely to guide them in this process. At least half of the time that my students and I spend in the classroom involves a carefully planned collaboration exercise. In fact, when reviewing material with students for tests and other assessments, I can ask them to recall an activity in which the participated in a group, and they are able to recognize a principle or concept much quicker than asking them to recall from memory notes from class.
- Integrate Course Material with Students’ Lives for Deep, Significant Learning.
In the early twentieth century, John Dewey declared, “There is the standing danger that the material of formal instruction will merely be the subject matter of the schools, isolated from the subject matter of life-experience.” My own experience in the twenty-first century can attest that Dewey’s consternation is still relevant. Part of my job is to connect material in the classroom to a student’s own life. By convincing students of a lesson’s applicability to their own lives, they become intrinsically motivated to create their own connections and syntheses to the course material. To create deep learning, my planning must eliminate surface approaches to course content and focus on the larger principles that lead to a framework for life-long learning.
- Latest Revision of Teaching Philosophy: Spring 2012
(Full-Time Lecturer) Anderson University, South Carolina, 2012-present
English 101, Composition and Speech I
English 102, Composition and Speech II
English 213, American Literature Beginnings to 1865
(Teaching Associate) Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina, 2011-2012
English 111, Expository Writing
English 112, Argument-Based Research