As each course begins, my approach is similar. I am equally focused on the process and the desired result. I see my students as developing individuals. I teach to help them learn and grow and to adjust well to the demands of life. I want them to be prepared to meet their goals and thechallenges they may or may not anticipate. I am eager to help them understand concepts and translate abstract ideas into tools they can use to achieve their professional goals.
In The Classroom
The classroom experience emerges as a function of the students, our environment, the goals of the specific course, and the developing nature of evolving relationships. To optimize studentsí opportunities to learn, I rely on both flexibility and structure. Presenting course material that is focused and clear and also engaging translates into classroom experiences that help students feel confident that they are learning material. As they achieve comfort with concepts, a shared language evolves which encourages us to go off course and stretch into unplanned, unexpected territory. It is the unanticipated that I value most as I have come to learn from my students that both they and I benefit from sharing information, refining understanding, and pushing our thinking.
One of the most rewarding experiences of teaching and directing research is working with students as begin to take steps toward working on their own professional goals. Teaching and advising students, I believe it is my responsibility to recognize their goals, anticipate their needs, offer support and guidance, and embrace the complexity of their lives. I encourage students to invest their energies in growth-promoting behaviors and experiences. Success comes when they launch themselves into adulthood, make commitments to meaningful life pathways, and reap the benefits of their journeys.