My Educational Philosophy
It's not about me
It seems obvious when stated out loud: we're here for the students. And yet, too often, it seems that education loses sight of that. It becomes about imparting wisdom, or egos, or processes and procedures. And that's when we lose those whom we are trying to serve.
In every lesson I plan, I always keep in mind that higher education is entirely voluntarily, and the burden on me is to always ensure that students want to keep coming to school. By focusing on them, I can keep them engaged and learning.
Timely and relevant
I first learned how to build web pages in 1994. Aside from a few basics, almost none of those skills are still used today, barely over 20 years later. The web is a fast-paced, ever-changing field, and as an instructor in the field, I must stay on top of the industry to ensure that I am teaching my students up-to-date skills.
Conversely, I have to be cautious with what new things I add to my curriculum. Is this really a hot new thing that it going to transform the industry, or just another passing fad?
Fostering a love of learning
Just as I have had to continue to learn and develop my skills throughout my career in order to remain relevant in this field, so must my students. Graduation will not and cannot be the end of their education. Part of my obligation as their teacher is to not just teach them what they need to know today, but foster in them a love of learning so that they will want to continue their education, formally and informally, as they progress out into the workplace.
If I do my job correctly, students will have many questions outside of class. They have to know that I am there for them and that they can always feel safe to bring me their questions and concerns, and that those will be handled with dignity and respect and, where applicable, with confidentiality.
Service to campus
Teaching neither begins nor ends in the classroom. Throughout my career, I've felt that being involved in the greater campus community was a key part to being an effective teacher. I served on, and later chaired, the Faculty Technology Committee so that I could be an advocate for ensuring that our classrooms were set up to deliver the best possible classes. I then chaired the Admissions Committee, which gave me insight into the students who were coming into the school and how we as faculty could best serve them.
For the last several years, I have been honored to chair the Faculty Development Committee, allowing me to help my fellow faculty members become the best teachers they can. I pioneered a new method of delivering faculty development training that was built around the busy schedules of our adjuncts, and developed and coded the Faculty Development Portal, a web-based application that, for the first time, allowed faculty and administration to accurately track faculty development hours. The portal is currently being expanded to serve the needs of not just our campus, the entire college.