Updated: Nov 30, 2020
I was applying for a teaching award last week, and they always want a teaching philosophy statement. Mine has changed over my years of teaching. It used to emphasize students reaching their potential, but gradually I've been moving it to three more fundamental principles:
1) Be Kind
2) Be Trusting
3) Be a Mentor and Developer
The students in my classes have external pressures from family, finances, health, work (both University and external) and relationships. I do not know what these are, but I try to be kind, when a student is in distress, or is unable to complete a work task, or meet a deadline. I am flexible in giving time extensions to work. I would rather that they completed the work, rather than not do it. This is particularly important during the present pandemic, where the students may be facing considerable outside stresses, as well as the pressure of academic
I trust my students to tell me when they need help and encourage them to trust me when confiding in me. This trust helps me in the role as mentor and developer. One of the central tenets of this is that I trust my students to behave honestly. I do not require medical notes, if a student has time off. I do not use any form of electronic proctoring or surveillance of tests in my courses, and nor will I.
Be a Mentor and Developer
My speciality is teaching large classes, the majority of whom are first year students, managing the transition from High School to Higher Education. They come from a wide range of places and with diverse education and cultural backgrounds. I try to make all students welcome and use a variety of different methods to keep them engaged in class and keep up with their work. I also try to ensure that my course materials are accessible to all,
and that I am accessible to all students. I aim to mentor the students and develop their intellectual and learning skills, time management, and self-directed learning.
If you do these things, you will encourage the students, and put in place the necessary working environment for them to be their best, and achieve their potential.