There are few feelings that rival that of the Joy I feel when I spark the interest of a student. This spark doesn’t always come easy. Thus, I have created the following three objectives; I feel that they speak to my dedication and development as a classroom teacher.
If the teacher is not excited about the material, neither will the student. My first aim is to familiarize my student with a body of well-developed content, and address it with the vigor and enthusiasm that fosters learning. Furthermore, because an important aspect of education is to introduce students to the thoughts of great minds, pacing the course more slowly, allowing the student the time to absorb the material, is what I would consider effective instruction. Assigning meaningful assignments, with particular interest to the content, helps students learn to read carefully and critically.
My second aim in teaching is to help students develop the critical thinking skills necessary for evaluation of the various theories under discussion.The choice of course readings should reflect this, moving from original works, to their application and response as we explore them.This method of presentation should motivate students to think of new and innovative ideas that may improve their current understanding. Knowledge is continually growing and being reshaped; teaching and learning should be no different.
Being able to develop your own views about the various topics being discussed is the third aim that I strive for in my classroom. Views that are informed by the readings and by classroom discussions, promote scaffolded instruction. This allows for considerable latitude with assignments, while promoting lively discussion both inside and outside class.
Thus, my approach in interacting with students is very open. I strongly encourage students to speak up in class, to ask questions, offer criticisms, and simply express their own opinions. From day one, I make it clear to students that hearing multiple perspectives are an important part of the learning experience. While they might not always agree with opinions expressed in class, I expect that they respect the people expressing their opinions and their right to do so.
Desire to Inspire!