Teaching Philosophy

I personally find it easier to learn if I am at ease and focused. Though it is up to the student to stay focused, I feel that it is part of my job to set them at ease. The most intelligent people that I have met approach the world with a playful manner. I try to promote that mentality by presenting the material in a light-hearted, yet fact based way. A playful attitude encourages experimentation and self discovery, which is key when learning something as intimidating a new programming language.

Patience is a necessary virtue to possess in order to effectively teach self-discovery and self-sufficiency. It is very hard to hold back the urge to interrupt the student with a thunderous, "let me show you how to do it!" Further, it is a true skill to be able to ask them the proper questions that will guide them to the desired solutions, rather than posting flashing road signs that announce the answer.

Though my age does not differ much from that of my students, it is easy for them to put me, as well as other professors, up on a pedestal. I make an effort to step down off of that pedestal, or at least shorten it, in order to humanize myself in the eyes of the students. I often ask the class for their opinions on matters. For example, I pass out "customer surveys" that ask such questions as, "did you understand the lesson", or, "how well did you comprehend the reading". This makes my class feel more in control and aware that I care about their progress.



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