Fall 2008. Revised: 2011
I embrace teaching and regard it as an opportunity to inspire and to empower. I strive to find ways of translating curriculum relevancy into market relevancy. I measure my success as an educator by how my teaching positively impact my students intellectually, morally and spiritually. I view challenges as opportunities to mold me into a better holistic teacher.
I am a proponent of student-centered learning. I relate to the adage of serving as a “tour guide” who is knowledgeable about my route. My students are the “tourists” who define their learning process. Integral to this approach is my ability to listen to them and allow my lesson plan to transform their learning preferences and adaptabilities. My utmost goal is finding the most effective way of stimulating and sustaining students’ intellectual, moral and spiritual growth. Therefore, when designing course format and evaluation requirements, I strive to optimize students’ engagement and successes. My primary goal is to create a class environment where students firmly understand the core concepts of the course and actively engage in the learning process. My typical lecture includes PowerPoint notes, lecture worksheets with discussion questions, short video clips, media snippets, and other appropriate research work that aims to stimulate their intellectual and spiritual curiosity. All of these delivery methods provide students with ample examples of practical applications of the course concepts. The use of guest lecturers also is central to my teaching.
Further, I am attentive to the diversity of my students. I design my courses with the understanding that students have different learning styles, which in turn may be influenced by other underlying conditions in their lives. For example, a student’s economic background, disability status, gender, ethnicity, racial identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age etc may impact how a student learns and interacts with other students in the classroom. Therefore, in all my courses, my constant quest is to ensure that students get the most out of the classroom in their unique ways, and most importantly, curriculum relevancy translates to market relevancy by incorporating a variety of content delivery and testing methods. I also embed service learning in my courses.
Since we live in a world driven by technology, I actively employ technology in my teaching. For example, I use PowerPoint presentation in all my classes. I teach students to solve statistical problems using software such as Stata, MINITAB, SPSS and Excel. Students are also required to present their research reports and other graded activities in a word document and/or PowerPoint format. I also optimize the use of course management systems such as blackboard, D2L, Angel and Canvas. Besides using them for testing and posting all class related activities and documents, I take advantage of the discussion forum to extend student conversation related to lecture topics, allowing students to exchange ideas. Mid-semester course evaluations and suggestion boxes also are made available on the course management system. Both of these features provide students with the opportunity to shape the class dynamics and, consequently, to enhance learning.
Central to my teaching is connecting my research findings to my course material and promoting student research activities. For example, in my quantitative courses, I incorporate quantitative research to teach students how to conduct statistical/econometric analyses. In my economics courses, I use my research findings to help students understand how to apply economic theory and the resulting policy implications.
I enjoy meeting with students individually and learning about their interests and career aspirations. I continue to consult with them long after completing my courses on matters related to job-leads, student research opportunities and spiritual growth. I make it known to my students that I have an open-door, open-communication policy and that they are welcomed to communicate with me even after they have graduated. This individual attention seems appropriate in contributing to student retention and helping students focus on their educational, professional and spiritual goals.