A professional background in anthropology requires a global understanding of humanity and its forms of diversity. As a social scientist, it has prepared me to interact with people in the United States and globally. In my opinion, sensitivity to cultural similarities and differences is an effective method of communicating broader ideas and subtleties of people from various cultural contexts. Flexibility is a key characteristic to effective communication. I endeavor to learn about the students and families so that I can best communicate with them in a way which is most comfortable. This requires careful and intentional listening skills. I use various methods of communication to best reach students, keeping an open-door attitude and creating an environment conducive for student learning. I believe strongly that faculty who connect with students and their lives outside the classroom will be most effective in designing curriculum that is relevant and engaging. Furthermore, the better I understand students’ cultural contexts the stronger the student-faculty relationship can be built. Thus, an integral part of my teaching practice requires that I make efforts to develop a high level of cultural competency.
Due to the evolution of social media and its effects on higher education, my literacy philosophy is based on my desire to share knowledge and values associated with various forms of literacy in the 21st century in order to encourage students to become self-directed independent learners. These learners will see literacy as a vehicle for exploring their interests and enjoying the world around them. Reading and writing have been essential elements of my education and professional development, and I hope to inspire my students to view these fundamental skills with the same reverence. Varied approaches to literacy development will increase participation of students and reveal different achievement levels of students. These techniques are effective in quickly assessing student competence and engagement to better inform my curriculum design.
My teaching philosophy lends itself to a student-centered instructional approach in which I seek to involve students in experiential learning. I use a variety of visual, print, and audio media to keep my instruction interesting to students. Facilitating discussions allows me to tap into students’ socialization skills which results in motivating them to take on increased responsibilities towards becoming self-directed learners. By making literacy relevant and interactive for students, I can perform more effectively in assessing my approach to more individualized student needs. These teaching strategies require my active attention and participation at all times.
I would bring with me a strong skill set in college-level instruction, research and scholarship, an understanding of literacy and ethical leadership. I would also bring energy, passion, enthusiasm and a thorough knowledge of the most current developments in higher education which would undoubtedly result in contributions and enhancements of the overall mission and vision of Varsity Tutors.