As an undergraduate, I was privileged to attend Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Knox’s small class size and emphasis on senior faculty teaching introductory courses made a lasting impression on me. I learned to learn in a collegial atmosphere.
As a graduate student (MS & PhD) at Ohio State University, I successfully taught for my entire graduate career. I was nominated several times for the Excellence in Teaching Award. Working with and being a student at a large state school helped round out for me the variety of educational experiences available to students.
From both large and small schools, I have adapted those traits of those teachers who most positively influenced me. In my teaching over 20+ years, the following points of emphasis come to mind.
1. All students are individuals. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This is a shared responsibility.
2. Love of the subject and knowledge of the subject I am teaching go a long way to imparting the true excitement of learning. I have mastered many fields and work to intersperse “real-world” examples into my teaching.
3. A Russian author said, “You can teach anything to anyone if you truly understand it yourself.” I believe that. I work hard to truly understand the subject and choose not to try to teach a subject in which I am not fluent.
4. In my teaching approach, I try use the Socratic Method to show the student that he already knows the answer to his question. I do this by directed questioning, leading the student from beginning to middle to end in a logical progression. The result is a student who learns to have confidence in himself and in applying the information he has already mastered.
5. I receive back from teaching students more than I put in. I am constantly overwhelmed and gratified by the feeling I get from seeing the expression on a student’s face when he finally grasps a difficult concept.
Knox College - BA, Biochemistry
The Ohio State University - PhD, Microbiology