Teachers have different philosophies and different styles. It depends where you teach and who are your audience. Effective teaching comes from years of trial and error. My role as a teacher is to ensure that students learn and understand.
My students need to learn critical thinking, and become acquainted with learning skills they will need for the long run. In this information economy, my students should be prepared and cognizant of basic domestic and global issues. More importantly, they should be able to provide solutions by engaging in discussions on global issues. Accordingly, I am a facilitator to make sure that they use critical thinking for problem solving. I always assert myself to engage students in lively and informative discussions. If my students don’t inquire as to my reactions or opinions, then at the end, I volunteer to express my intellectual (social, political views) for the sake of engagement and interaction and providing a model at hand to compare with their own but not necessarily for their acceptance.
Students of mine should learn about crucial issues in the world they live. They need to be articulate by positioning controversial issues against conventional wisdom. In this way they can sharpen their thoughts and defend their opinions.
I want my students to learn the fundamental content of the courses I teach. Teaching is important to me because it is a profession that is embodied in satisfaction. I am satisfied as long as I can make a difference. Teaching means a lot to me for the reason that it embraces many aspects of life. In this profession I can lead, manage, guide, and mentor many individuals for their futures. There is no better reward in life than leading many lives towards a light and clear path rather than the ignorance that is a temporal darkness.
Research is a continuous habit that I have never quit. I challenge myself to be abreast of the global issues and be responsive to my students. That does not mean that I know it all, but I wish to teach them that it is important to be informed and willing to share and make significant changes in the lives of my students. I also encourage my students to participate in public speaking and engagements in their communities by accepting civic duties and become an effective part of their neighborhoods. This is one of my contributions to higher education—my students should be trained to be instrumental in social change.
Speaking of teaching practices, I should say that they vary depending upon the circumstances; where one day, I might have freshmen, another day, graduate students or students who participate in interdisciplinary courses. I use lectures, discussion periods, panel discussions, problem solving sessions under my guidance, and/or critical discussions based on reviewing a documentary. For the past three years while I have been teaching cultural diversity, I have been using a supplement I created of activities, charts, articles, and other useful information to go with the text I was given to use but with which I was very dissatisfied. This prompted me to write my own text, which was published in November 2005.
I always consider my student evaluations for areas of improvement. I have been videotaped several times during cultural diversity forums and have found ways to improve my presentations. This is a good assessment tool with many benefits. I believe in online teaching and value this new mode of education or a paradigm shift which is growing rapidly in our fast-paced global society. I have also earned the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award from Toastmasters International, the highest designation you can earn.