Monday, October 6, 2008

Teaching Philosophy

  My objectives as a teacher are simple and varied. I view teaching as a conduit through which information is disseminated, skills are learned, and inspiration is ignited. My goals are to deliver an environment in which critical thinking becomes second nature to my students, where skills are not only learned but utilized and applied in their everyday lives. I seek to fuel a deep appreciation for the art of speech leading them to establish a life long passion for the art of communication.

I employ several methods and theories to accomplish my objectives as a teacher. I’ve found students are more likely to succeed in an environment in which they feel supported by their peers and teacher rather than judged. Obviously, an educational setting is based on a certain amount of judgment i.e. grades. However, it is possible to make this judgment as empowering and inspiring as possible. I feel the students are a unique family-like structure, a vital ingredient in the success of each individual student. I choose to view each class as a secondary family unit, in which we support and critique one another in a positive way. Every student should feel comfortable expressing his/her ideas and asking questions, knowing their family will respect them and support them.

Concurrently, I view a truly supportive environment as beginning with the tools I give students by way of educational materials. I am a big believer in using several different types of leaning devices. Some students learn best through repetition, some through visual simulation, others through verbal practice, and still others learn best through non- interactive text base materials. I strive to utilize each of these learning methods and more. This makes me feel I’ve examined and evaluated each student in the fairest way possible. The one method of learning in which I will likely not use (or at least not significantly grade students on) is group based work. While I find there is much need for students to have the skills to work with others I do not feel comfortable applying a score to an individual based on the work of another. I feel group projects often punish the students who care the most and give the less active students a free ride.

Overall, I choose to view the educational environment as my opportunity to mold successful future communicators in a safe, inspiring scholastic environment. I try my best to reduce prejudice in people and myself at all times. The world is full of hate and judgement -it is my goal to inspire my students to think outside the ideologies they were born into and aspire to consider the multitude of possibilities that exist in the world. In some cases, for them to consider the evidence on certain issues that people tend to ignore because of the information they have grown to accept as truth- aka- homosexuality is gene linked-just like eye color -- its been proven- so that means it is not a choice--ohhhh my. haha I hope to make people realize there words do have an effect on peoples lives. My goal is to not only teach them the objectives set forth in the course description, but to help them become better citizens, better wives and husbands, partners, friends, and family members. The benefits of interpersonal communication and public speaking classes are endless and each student has the potential to know themselves better and love this world more completely. I hope each student leaves my class with a refreshing outlook on the art of argumentation, speech, and communication and that each student has made a meaningful improvement in their relationships with those they love and those they do not understand.

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