Teaching Philosophy

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” 

Stephen King

I believe that teaching and learning is a constant process both inside and outside of the classroom. While this teaching philosophy is made with the teacher-student relationship in mind, learning and growth happens everywhere – between friends, family, and even complete strangers. We never know whose lives we will influence, or who will end up influencing ours, but I think it is those moments and connections that make life beautiful. 🙂

I want to motivate and inspire learners by also learning about them and what matters to them.

It can be so easy to get caught up in day to day life and forget why we are here or how we got here in the first place. Perhaps we never even had the time to really think about the why. Because of this, I want to find ways to give students the time to think about and remember those why’s. From there, I want to work with them to relate those why’s to the importance of the class and materials themselves so that the class itself can be more meaningful to them as individuals.

Furthermore, I want to use these as opportunities to learn more about the students and how to adapt the course itself to what matters to them. This could, for example, include creating lectures or activities that relate more to their topics of interest and showing examples of how the current course materials could potentially bring them closer to their own goals.

I want to give learners the opportunities to grow in more ways than one.

I believe that teaching a course has so much more to it than simply teaching the required material. We are all constantly growing as individuals, and I want to provide more opportunities for students to learn not only the materials, but a variety of skills that will help them in the future such as communication and collaboration. I want to embrace the whole process of learning and create an environment where students know that it’s okay to step out of their comfort zones, that it’s okay to fail sometimes, and that it’s possible to get back up to continuously improve ourselves.

To help create this environment, I believe that patterns of active learning teaching can be beneficial. By preparing group activities, I plan to provide the space for students to talk to each other and develop their soft skills. Furthermore, I think it is important to be actively involved with the students as both groups and individuals to help foster a positive environment while everyone is developing these skills. Lastly, I hope that this will also encourage students to work with and help each other outside of class, as this will provide them even more opportunities to make new connections and continue learning from each other even after the course ends.

I want to be flexible and to adapt to learners’ differences in order to provide learning experiences that work for them.

Everyone is unique.

Students are all unique individuals and will learn best in different ways. Because of this, I cannot say that one teaching style is best or will always work for all the students. Therefore, I hope to incorporate many different practices in order to embrace these differences and adapt to them. For example, active learning can help students get more hands-on experiences and provide the opportunities to work together and develop soft skills. However, it may also be helpful to include lectures to introduce students to a new topic or help clarify confusions that occur along the way. I believe that it will be important to continuously pay attention to the students and to be open to their opinions and feedback in order to find ways to guide their learning experiences that work best for them.

Once again, teaching and learning is a continuous process that occurs both inside and outside of the classroom…

I am sure that I will end up learning just as much, if not more, from my students as they will from me. Throughout this process, I will hope to have provided them a positive space for growth, the opportunities to learn more about themselves, and the development of skills that they can then take with them further throughout their experiences.