I embrace teaching as an opportunity to inspire and empower. As a teacher, it is my goal to enhance student learning as a transformative experience. Ideally, I want students to feel personally changed by their participation in a course I am teaching. In teaching remedial math courses, I often have students who dislike math intensely. Other students have a long-standing fear of math. Part of my job is to break through these barriers, and give the students the tools they need to learn the material. As a teacher, I always try to break the problems down completely. I want the material to be as simple as possible. Practicing the problems is essential, so I’m a firm believer in regularly assigned homework and frequent quizzes. This gives the students the best possible chance to retain what is done in class.
One of my biggest hurdles is getting students to ask questions in class when they aren’t understanding a problem I’m reviewing. I try to be as patient as I can be with students, especially those that do not catch on very quickly. I am constantly asking students if they are following me and I find that emphasizing the fact that I am open to questions helps them feel more comfortable to ask a question. I will always be open to implement and/or develop other methods to inspire students to develop life-long learning skills so that they are prepared to function effectively in society. In conclusion, I feel it is important for me to be a professor so that I can make a difference in the lives of students by showing them the joy, beauty, and power of mathematics in particular and learning more about the world in which we live in general. In my opinion, a great reward of teaching is the joy of seeing a student come alive in the classroom when he/she has mastered the concepts and techniques.
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