Perspectives on Student Learning (2015)

Whether teaching a large lecture, small discussion, or online section, I strive to evoke in my students an excitement for discovery that I myself experience as a historian and scholar. I believe that awakening student curiosity is the key to motivating students to become engaged and active learners.

My goal as a teacher is to help my students to become intentional learners and integrative thinkers who can formulate learning goals, adapt to new environments, identify connections in seemly disparate information, synthesize knowledge from various sources, and make informed decisions. Since the scope of my goal is beyond the parameters of my classroom, I see my immediate teaching objective as twofold: (1) to help students develop habits of critical thinking by challenging them with thought-provoking discussion questions, and (2) to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning, use their creativity, and pursue their curiosity.

My goal as a mentor and role-model is to help my students bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world by leveraging the skills of a historian—critical and creative thinking, written and verbal communication, and problem-solving. I want students not only to learn concepts relevant to historical study, but also to recognize their broader relevance and application to the world around them. I therefore design my lesson plans with the primary purpose of honing critical thinking and communication skills that my students can confidently apply to challenging scenarios both inside and outside my classroom.

Experience has taught me that good teaching takes perspective, dedication, and constant adaptation. Seeing the appreciation, creativity, and achievement of my students reaffirms my passion for teaching and drives me to look for new instructional methods and strategies. I see a career in teaching as an exciting and unique opportunity to impact the lives of others, while continuing to grow myself as an instructor, scholar, and community leader.