Teaching Philosophy

Over the years, I am sure that my outlook on the teaching profession has changed. It has been influenced by many individuals, my personal experience, as well as of course my own teachers, students, friends and colleagues.

As a teacher, I value students as “whole persons”, they are not simply walking textbooks. I believe that a teacher is responsible for inspiring and producing an individual with a balance of process/critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, not to mention skills that can be applied, and and the ability to relate these skill-sets to society and environment at large. As science continues its rapid progress, students should take away new insights, explanations, and knowledge. This are coupled with technological skills they can apply and an understanding of science, and its environmental and social impacts.

I aim to help students experience the world of science through an approach that is more than the world of textbooks and inert facts. I want to support them towards becoming:
· reflective practitioners/scientists and researchers
· collaborative thinkers and team players
· effective communicators (in many senses including interpersonal)
· persons who appreciate diverse subject matter

I believe that an effective teacher must have a solid understanding of the subject matter being taught, as well as staying current in their field, engaging in research and participating in classes, conferences, workshops, and/or mentoring that furthers subject matter knowledge. Besides staying up with current theory, a teacher must also understand conceptual change, and then resonate this with current pedagogical models. Teachers must be able to recognize diversity in classroom, and that not all students enter at the same level of preparation, maturity, and skill set.

Awareness of what students know when they come into the classroom as well as how to tap into that knowledge and build on it is critical. The face of the student university body is continually changing, and teaching styles must be adapted to best accommodate students learning requirements. The types of media used now so easily by students differs in many ways from that used even ten years ago. Last, it is important that teachers see teaching as a two-way process.

Change is almost a constant in the modern workplace and to this end, the importance of flexibility in a dynamic and evolving environment. Excellence in education does not stem from simply pushing students through the system. Being an effective teacher is a challenge, but a teacher who accepts teaching as a passionate task, and as a responsibility will also find rewards that are well worth the effort.