My experiences as an administrator, student advocate and teacher form the foundation of my educational philosophy and values which include:
- cultivating curiosity and a love of learning coupled with the belief that everyone has the capacity to grow,
- serving as a mentor and coach,
- teaching students that they are responsible and accountable for their own destiny, and
- engaging in self-reflection and continuous improvement.
I teach because there is no greater satisfaction in life for me than to serve students – especially when they struggle yet persevere through that “aha” moment where true learning takes place. Recognizing that access to a quality education is a social justice issue, but that access without the motivation and desire to learn is simply a missed opportunity, my work is driven by the belief that if I can help cultivate the motivation and desire to learn in students, I can help “level the playing field” for all – even if just a little.
Working with first-year students, my role is to serve as “good company” helping them to successfully navigate their transition to college. I teach students about how learning takes place so they understand that everyone has the capacity to learn. We explore different learning tools and strategies to maximize learning, and then practice developing learning skills utilizing those tools. Students develop an understanding that they are responsible for their own learning and that they must become their own advocates.
I utilize a variety of pedagogical strategies aimed at engaging and immersing students in their learning. We know that deepest learning occurs when all of an individuals senses are engaged. Because if this, I employ a variety of activities in the classroom that require active student participation and repetition to establish stronger neural pathways – helping students progress up Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid of higher thinking.
In addition to daily reflection, I utilize mixed-methods analysis of student transcript data and survey responses to assess student learning and my effectiveness as an educator. Of particular interest is the examination of student work from the beginning and the end of the academic term. At the end of every semester, I seek feedback from students and colleagues. This helps me hone my craft and provides insights into adjustments I need to make in my practice.