As a teacher, I am a facilitator of knowledge creation as well as a co-collaborator of knowledge. Through my teaching, I strive to help students learn how to develop effective decision-making, critical thinking, and communication skills. I aim to create a community of learners by fostering opportunities for students to develop new relationships that honor and celebrate multiple perspectives and diverse life experiences. I integrate problem-based learning and success-based learning approaches to teaching and make the content relevant and applicable to diverse students’ lives and work environments. This is a synergistic activity that requires students to be active learners in the classroom experience and co-creators of content and activities.
Central to my philosophy of teaching is my belief that students, colleagues, and the global community should be honored. I believe that students can and will make appropriate decisions if given the opportunity and guidance. I believe differences among people positively influence a person’s academic, career, and personal development. Academic and professional relationships with diverse colleagues inside and outside of the department enhance my professional development and the learning experiences of my students. I fully embrace my responsibility to ensure that all of my students succeed in their own way. I teach to enhance lives and create experiences that enhance my own understanding of diverse practitioners’ needs.
Because teaching and learning are deeply contextual acts, the onus is on me to look for ways to meet the needs of students while stimulating them to challenge their own preconceived notions as well as being stimulated by them to question my own beliefs. Determining students’ needs and the applicable interventions requires a keen sense of judgment, a wealth of experiences, and an array of techniques. I enjoy watching and learning from other teachers and students, keeping up with research on ways to transform the learning environment in my content area, and exploring innovations in teaching. To this end, I have developed unique courses (also in a full online format) which enable students to interact with peers in order to solve complex educational problems based on access to empirical research, theoretical readings, and authentic vignettes of school leaders’ problems and successes on the ground. These interactive environments thus model the experience of a professional learning community.