My motivation for seeking this position lies in a deep commitment to teaching a diverse group of people, collaborating with colleagues, and developing innovative, effective curriculum. As demonstrated in my resume, I possess three years of teaching experiences working within various class settings and group of students in the social science and legal departments. In the past four years, I taught four undergraduate courses, I taught six secondary level courses, I have designed my own unit of studies for secondary courses, and collaborated with my research supervisor in developing and designing undergraduate courses. Each of these experiences have shaped my abilities as an educator in various ways that make me a strong candidate for this position.
My passion for teaching and dedication to my students, colleagues and the school/college community has helped me demonstrate excellent teaching skills that have been highlighted by my secondary education mentors formal evaluation and undergraduate teaching supervisor at Carleton University. As a teacher assistant I dedicated time and energy to my students success by promptly and effectively answering their emails, holding weekly hours, office appointments to help them with their writing skills or course material, and holding multiple review sessions to accommodate my students course/exam schedules. As a secondary teacher, I mentored my students during lunch hours or after schools. I also co-organized a Post-secondary fair to ensure that students had an opportunity to learn more about post-secondary programs and have their questions properly answered.
My pedagogical practices and philosophy have been rooted in learner-focused methods with the purpose of providing equal opportunity and high quality of education. I work towards learning more about my students and incorporating various teaching methods, including but not exclusive to technological methods, to ensure all learning styles, and linguistic differences are accommodated. I am very energetic, sincere, and passionate about education and helping students relate and see complex concepts in their everyday life.
Undergraduate Degree: York University - Bachelors, Bachelor of Arts
Graduate Degree: Carleton University - Masters, Legal Studies
- Learning about the world, whether it be Aboriginal issues, Educational issues, and socio-economic issues. I also enjoy walking and hiking as a way to relax and enjoy nature around me.
What is your teaching philosophy?
One of the most insightful lessons I learned from my mentors and personal experiences was that critical thinking is an invaluable skill for everyone. I believe a teacher's job is to incite intellectual curiosity and to create learning opportunities and experiences that engage students within the classroom and society. Thus, a cornerstone of my teaching philosophy is to help students develop critical thinking skills that equip them to question, explore and learn beyond the classroom. \ The first step in developing students' intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills is to adopt learner- focused teaching methods that encourage student engagement and inquiry during their learning process. For such an engaged learning experience to occur, a teacher must initiate, create and promote a positive learning environment where students feel safe to share their ideas within an intellectually diverse space. Promoting a positive environment starts with the teacher's conduct and attitude on the first day of class; as an approachable and friendly demeanor initiates this safe environment. I believe that being an approachable and sincere teacher is essential to being an effective teacher because it allows students to focus on learning rather than focusing on maintaining a specific intellectual image among strangers. For example, on my first day of class, I discuss the syllabus, my class objectives/big ideas and, most importantly, my expectation of my students as learners and their expectation of me as an educator. I have found this exercise to work very well among college students, as it sets the expectations clearly, shows them I respect their opinion and allows them to voice their thoughts on what they want in an educator as well as form their own expectation of themselves - the learners. \ Once this informal- thoughtful exercise is completed through facilitation, the teacher has created and demonstrated their vision of class discussion. The students will immediately see the teacher in the role of a facilitator, as opposed to the traditional instructional role, therefore creating an engaging safe-learning environment. Then, promoting this 'learning in progress' space becomes a matter of practicing and enforcing respect among a diverse group of students. It is an environment where students reach a level of comfort that allows them to discuss openly and learn from one another, as well as from the teacher. This expands their thoughts and understanding on various aspects and dimensions of a particular issue, and such reflective discussion will gradually develop students' knowledge and critical thinking skills.\ The second way of respecting and promoting intellectual diversity is by presenting information in a variety of formats, and by evaluating aptitude in a variety of contexts. Teachers should ensure that their lessons are informative, engaging to all learning styles and account for cultural and linguistic differences. Lessons should include differentiated instruction and varied activities, such as a brief interactive lecture, small group discussions/presentation, large group discussion/presentation, individual work, or attending conferences outside of class to ensure an inclusive learning environment. Also, the use of various presentation material such as lecture notes, articles, videos, digital resources, interactive devices, the class board, charts and diagrams among other visual learning aids are very important to helping students conceptualize ideas and course material. \ During my Bachelor of Education teacher-training, all my lesson plans included diagnostic and more importantly formative assessments. I always applied diagnostic assessment in the beginning of the academic year/class to better understand my classes' prior knowledge on some concepts/ big ideas included in the course material. This brief assessment helped me prioritize topics and accommodate my instructions and lesson plans to fill prior knowledge gaps to ensure my students' success in the course. I believe that constantly learning about my students' learning styles and strengths/weaknesses prepares me to mentor them more effectively. For this reason, I always include formative assessments in my lessons as a way to provide students with the chance to practice their skills and apply learning in a safe, 'non-graded' environment. When mistakes become learning opportunities, teachers empower students to participate in their own learning development, ultimately succeeding on their summative assessments. Most of my summative assessments include research essays, formal and creative presentations, participation in classroom discussion, as well as exams with differentiated format; such as, multiple choice, fill in the blanks and short answers. \ A third way to initiate and create a positive learning environment is through student evaluations on the teacher and course material. As educators, we should constantly reflect on our teaching methods and evaluate the successes/drawbacks/challenges of every lesson. While consolidation and reflection at the end of every lesson are effective tools to evaluate student learning goals, direct feedback from students is essential for quality education. Through the use of frequent student evaluation of the teaching methods and class environment, teachers receive a better picture of what works for the student and what the students would like changed in future lessons. While positive comments are great for morale, teachers should focus on feedback where change and growth are needed. From my experience, frequent student evaluations have helped me develop my educational methods and provided me with a better understanding of my students' needs. This simple yet critical exercise highlights the core components of a positive learning environment that I demonstrate in my classes: mutual respect, the significance of reflective opinions, and 'learning in progress' attitude within a nurturing environment. Learning for growth is a duty teachers have to their profession, to their students, and to themselves. Fulfilling this duty requires an educator to continue advancing their own knowledge on current pedagogical research as well as their field subject. Through constantly assessing their performance among colleagues and students, teachers exemplify the importance of learning inside and outside of the classroom.\ I strive to provide quality education to all my students and foster in them the curiosity of learning and the skills/ability to achieve their own goals. My personal journey as a learner, my education background as well as my teaching experiences have contributed to my teaching philosophy that stems from the notion of awakening joy in learning. I believe that a passion for learning can be realized and developed within a positive environment that encourages a sense of respect, openness and a challenging, yet supportive, learning space among a diverse group of students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would get to know the interests of students, what they like and dislike, their hobbies, and if they have a favorite subject. I would also talk about myself to help the student feel more comfortable to approach me and ask questions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Asking them to research and tell me what they have learned! I also use the Socratic method to develop their intellectual curiosity.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I need to know the strength of my students, then use their strong skills to develop other areas, and then help them see the improvements.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try to investigate the possible miscommunication, or try to find the source of the issue. Also, trying different learning methods and using visuals may work if it's a learning style issue. In short, I would try to find a flexible solution to accommodate the student.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Breaking the reading comprehension into smaller sections is one way, especially if the issue is the student being overwhelmed by the text. If the issue is related to weak reading skills or ESL, then assign relevant readings that the student is interested in. Just be sure to practice with them and they will gradually improve!
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Being friendly, straightforward, and approachable.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I would research a fun activity or fact relating to the subject that would interest the student, and then I would use it as a hook to learning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Exit polls, formative assessments, and interactive teaching methods.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
I would show them how much they have improved, even if it has just been a week.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Once I know their needs, I should be flexible in accommodating them, whether it's changing my teaching methods, the type of tools I am using to teach my lesson, etc.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use interactive maps, whiteboards, the Internet (for brief clips or video), chart paper, and other material I need at the time to best teach my lesson.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I try to understand my student's needs through diagnostic methods to know their prior knowledge and skills. Observation through formative assessments is helpful, as is having them ask me questions directly.