Teaching Philosophy

My teaching experience has been broad and somewhat nontraditional for a person now entering higher education in a faculty role. As an educator I have engaged with people of all ages in diverse contexts ranging from middle and high school classrooms to remote mountaintops, volunteer training centers, faculty development workshops, and conferences. This range of experience informs my teaching philosophy, and has made me an adaptable, reflexive educator.

My goal as an educator is to contribute to the development of my students so that they become more independent, self-aware, engaged learners. My students have agency in their learning and as such they must take responsibility to engage and be present as learners. As graduate learners and higher education students, it is particularly important to instill in them an ingrained understanding of teaching and learning as they integrate themselves in the system of higher education.

The instructional methods I use include active learning strategies, opportunities to practice collaboration and leadership, and an integrated understanding of related civic and social issues. All of these methods are a matter of both teaching and modeling for my students. I use active learning strategies to leverage knowledge about how learning happens to engage my students with course materials. I find that this facilitates greater connection with course materials. A student in my classroom will have opportunities to practice collaboration and leadership; these are essential as my students enter or continue in the workplace, as well as for building their engagement with the community. An integrated understanding of related civic issues and social justice is a critical part of my teaching and learning. I am a social justice oriented educator, and embrace diversity of person, thought, and culture within my classroom. I empower my students to civically engage, and challenge them to draw connections between course content and the community.

I have a strong commitment to measuring my teaching, and my students’ learning. As a reflection of students’ experience, course evaluations and grades are an important piece of how that evaluation happens. Additionally, I know I would not be where I am today if it were not for my ability to form relationships with my peers and seek out feedback, and to actively engage with my coworkers and other professionals in the field. My growth as an educator and my students’ growth as learners are intertwined, and these diverse formal and informal evaluation methods give me a more complete understanding of the impact of my teaching and help me identify potential areas for growth.

As a leader, scholar, and teacher in higher education, I am a role model for my students and a community liaison. I model through my teaching, through my research, and through my service. Teaching is an important way for me to connect future and current scholars, and engage with both. Teaching higher education and educational leadership means having a direct impact on the facilitators of educational experiences that shape our work force, our citizenry, and indeed our society. I find this profoundly humbling and take my work as an educator very seriously. All of my professional and educational formation brings me to this place. I look forward to engaging as part of a faculty that embraces the ideals of active learning, student agency, and social justice and civic engagement oriented education.