I believe that teaching is most effective when it is flexible and adaptive to the needs of students. Five principles currently guide my teaching practices:
1. I believe that all students have the capacity to achieve success.
All students have the capacity to achieve success – how they achieve success, however, and what they define as success may vary from student-to-student. As a teacher, I believe that it is important to encourage students to set goals through which they can measure their progress in class, as well as their progress in the pursuit of academics or experiences more broadly.
2. I believe that learning is best achieved through the use of real-world, tangible examples and exercises.
When students can apply what they are learning in the classroom to a past experience or through the use of case studies and mock exercises, they are more likely to internalize and understand the material they are learning.
3. I believe that students should be exposed to a variety of issues – and a variety of views on those issues.
It is the responsibility of teachers to introduce controversial topics in a neutral, impartial manner. They should model and create the conditions for respectful, inclusive discussions where students feel comfortable, safe, and able to express their opinions.
4. I believe that students should have a vested interest and an active role in the learning process.
When students are genuinely interested in what they’re learning, they are more likely to enjoy it and more likely to engage in the learning process. Similarly, when students understand how the material they’re learning or the skills they’re developing in the classroom will apply outside it, they’re more likely to see value in the learning process.
5. I believe that the instructor needs to adapt to the needs of the students.
As a teacher, it’s important to remember that not all students learn the same – and that not all students learn the same way you do. It is therefore important to incorporate a variety of learning strategies and assessment tools that allow students to maximize their strengths and work on their weaknesses.