As a Teacher:
I challenge myself to never stop learning myself. Honesty and sincerity in my interactions with my students is critical in establishing a connectivity with them. Every class has a different culture and personality. I charge myself with knowing the audience, gauging the class climate, meeting them where they are, staying cognizant of the fact that all students learn differently, and embrace the opportunity that every student, regardless of age, background, experience, etc…brings a varied and important perspective to the discussion and learning environment. The outcomes that reveal my effectiveness as a teacher are “aha” moments and lit light bulbs.
In order to reach students, or any audience for that matter, I must provide practical and real world examples and show the relevancy to them in the subject matter taught. The material must reach the students where they are if it is to be impactful. Ultimately, I want to provide tools students can use when taking in information and that can help them be effective in their endeavors, challenge them to think for themselves, and challenge them have the intellectual courage to look at information from multiple perspectives.
My goal is to empower students with the tools, knowledge, perspective, confidence, and skill set to move the needle and enact relevant, substantive, and effective change in their lives and the world around them. In essence:
- Follow the 3 P’s of information – Position – Purpose – Perspective.
- Teaching effectiveness over efficiency.
- Help prepare them for real life.
Desired overall outcomes for the students include learning to think for themselves, for them to have the intellectual courage to look at information from multiple perspectives, and accept three very important realities:
- There are always pieces to the puzzle missing;
- We rarely, if ever, have all of the information; and,
- We must work from the perspective that the most important piece of information we need in order to form an iron clad opinion and/or conclusion is the piece of information not available to us.
Focusing on these three important realities, as well as working from the platform of the 3P’s, the students are always open to new information and perspectives. In academics, as in life, there is black & white and there is grey. While the black & white/grey reality spectrum is something we learn continually through life, the sooner students are able to understand which side of the spectrum the information they are working with falls, the sooner they will become more effective in their endeavors.
I use lecture, interactive discussion, and multi-media – including film and video, supported by texts and other resources (current and historical) to deliver the course material with a focus on the adherence to the 3 P’s: Position, Purpose, Perspective.
Assignments, Course Deliverables, and Assessments:
I stress writing and the ability to write effectively. However, it is as important for the student to be able to show an understanding of the course subjects and concepts. The assignments, course deliverables, and assessments will consist of papers, tests (multiple choice, when appropriate, and essay), group projects, and practical application.
The responsibility of educators at every level of the academic spectrum cannot be overstated or underestimated. We, as educators, are shaping the future through the minds of current and future generations. What an awesome and incredible opportunity that is!
I hope to see YOU in my classroom. You’re always welcome.