| First and foremost, I believe the most important aspect of teaching is
to give each individual student the respect and recognition they deserve. At the university level this
means treating each student as an adult. This alone creates an environment in which the students can feel
comfortable and lays a foundation for developing student/teacher rapport which leads to successful learning.
Once good rapport is established, this opens the way for effective instruction. Respect for the teacher
is often reflected by the students which leads to many desirable student qualities such as improved
attention, willingness to ask questions and good participation in discussions: all of which are essential
features of an effective learning atmosphere. With this, instruction takes place unhindered and focus can
then be placed on understanding and conceptualization of course materials.
In terms of policies, a teacher should be firm yet fair. It is the teacherís responsibility to set course
guidelines and stick to them. Students appreciate it when they know what is expected from the very beginning.
In addition, a firm but fair approach demonstrates a teacherís commitment to education and learning. In contrast,
a teacher needs to be able to admit when they are wrong, when they make a mistake, or, most importantly,
when they simply donít know. There is no quicker way to lose respect in the classroom than by failing
to do one of these things.
Lastly, a teacher should be concerned about individual students and their needs. Being able to identify
and adapt to certain individual or classroom situations separates an exceptional teacher from just a good teacher.
No matter how much preparation is done, each individual student and each classroom presents new and
different challenges that a teacher must be willing to embrace with a commitment to do all that they can to
achieve successful instruction and learning.
Who Am I?