My teaching philosophy is that the student usually knows what they need in order to learn. While it is very important to have control in the classroom as a teacher in order to direct learning activities efficiently, the student needs to be encouraged to interrupt the flow occasionally and ask questions. Learning styles vary greatly between students, and catering only to what one considers the "norm" allows people to slip through the cracks. I have found that I am not the most effective teacher unless I coax students to revisit material that did not make sense to them in class. My experience has been primarily with freshmen scientists and non-majors in general science courses, so the majority of them have not developed a comfort with the material and do not feel welcome asking questions for clarity at the beginning of the semester, but after the first few weeks of class I see students becoming much more adept at approaching the material.
I have a progressive attitude about participation in classes. I believe there are circumstances where the curriculum needs to be adjusted because the lifestyle of the students cannot adapt to it. I am willing to give exams or quizzes during an office hour if a students has a rotating work schedule, or allow a student with a learning disability to request services in my class after a deadline has passed. I have an interest in universal design and other modifications to curriculum that help make higher education accessible to a broader subset of people. With that said, I am serious about maintaining order and consistency with my students. I do not like vague expectations or double-standards, and I work hard to make the course requirements very transparent for my students. I do expect students to care about their attendance to class and the quality of their work, and I emphasize participation and self-directed study as the key to succeeding in my classes. I always aim to create an environment that feels fair, safe and predictable because developing trust early on in the semester has been crucial for me to reach students, especially those that struggle.
Undergraduate Degree: William Paterson University of New Jersey - Bachelor of Science, Biology, General
Graduate Degree: Kent State University at Kent - Doctor of Science, Neuroscience
Neuroscience, Psychology, climate justice, music, art and more.