Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teaching Philosophy

I help my students to enjoy the learning process and motivate them to succeed, both in the classroom and in the rest of their lives as life-long learners. This affects both the presentation of a class and its content. For students to really enjoy and profit from a class, I help them to be actively engaged with each other in realistic (or, ideally, genuinely real) situations and conversations. Planning communicative activities which incorporate culture is central to preparing my language courses.

At the same time, I’m not an entertainer, nor engaged in a popularity contest. While I do my best to be likable and games and humor have an important place in my classroom as teaching and review tools, I’m not afraid of doing what is necessary even when it will not be popular.

In evaluating students, I work to strike a balance between mercy and justice. I do my best to be neither rigid and unapproachable nor a pushover. I make class guidelines and requirements clear from the outset but each student's individual situation must be understood and taken into account in my evaluation. While I hope to be liked, I feel that I must be respected in order to be effective, as must the course guidelines.

Where possible, I frequently incorporate appropriate technology, be it film, the internet or other forms of telecommunication in my teaching. I have found them to be a vital part of engaging students' interest and that they can be a powerful teaching tool. While I don’t use technology as a crutch – I’m not, for example, addicted to Power Point – I always consider well my presentation options and use technology as appropriate and available. I’ve also discovered first-hand the importance of being flexible and having a back-up plan in case the technology fails.

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