Thursday, June 18, 2015

Teaching Philosophy

In a former life, this was my teaching philosophy.

My teaching philosophy is very simple:  I assume responsibility for each and every student in my classroom, not just the eager scholars on the front row, but also the long-legged guys in the back of the room, the shy girl hiding in the corner, the rambunctious rebel who sees every teacher as an enemy, and the paraplegic woman who cannot even raise her hand.

To this end, I work to establish a supportive atmosphere in my classes. I encourage students to consult with me during my office hours, and I list my home phone number and e-mail address on my syllabi. I often end up doing personal counseling too—of students, former students, and absolute strangers whom my students have referred to me. 

I run a rigorous classroom, with daily question-answer sessions that run up and down the rows, with comprehensive exams at various points in the semester, and with specific requirements in writing assignments.  

Above all, I strive to be the very best role model possible as a teacher and as a human being. I want my students to learn not only composition techniques and literary analysis, but also cooperation, tolerance, and kindness. 

Students frequently ask me about a pin I often wear.  A gift from a long-time friend, it symbolizes a helping hand and a loving heart.  I try to live up to it.

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