For me, teaching is a calling. From my earliest childhood memories, I remember loving to play “school.” This love of the entire process of learning has followed me throughout the changes in my career path. In any role, regardless of whether I am acting in the formal roles of “instructor” or “student,” I seek to learn and to teach.
Education is my chosen career path. In my faculty and professional roles, I consider mentoring, supervising and teaching the next generation of thought and practice leaders to be a wonderful privilege. Giving back to the profession I love and believe in is one of the primary motivators behind my teaching. By teaching the teachers, I know that my work can have an impact on college students far beyond those with whom I have immediate contact.
At its core, my teaching is grounded in concepts of student learning and development. Much as our profession has focused on the education of the whole student, I apply this philosophy to my teaching. My main goal in any teaching endeavor is to encourage the student to explore research and knowledge in order to incorporate it into their own professional point of view. Teaching in this field requires one to attend to both the technical knowledge a student needs and to their evolution as a reflective professional and person. Theory and practice are inextricably linked.
In encouraging this process, I believe it is important to view the student-teacher relationship as one that is co-constructed. In this regard, I am heavily influenced by the learning partnerships work of Dr. Marcia Baxter Magolda. Much as I hope students will learn from me, I equally appreciate the learning I take from my students. In the classroom space, I believe that authority and the responsibility for learning is mutually shared.
Part of this co-construction requires that I reflect on my own approach, style and biases in the learning process. It also requires that I recognize that students learn differently, have differing levels of learning abilities, and that my teaching must be sensitive to the individual needs of each student. In approaching my teaching, I attempt to accommodate the myriad of learning styles present in the classroom. I utilize a blend of approaches, including reading, writing, discussion, role play, case studies, reflection, and lecture.
Lastly, I view teaching as a performative act. Although I attempt to de-center myself in the classroom, I nevertheless recognize that teaching is, in part, a show. I relish the challenge of trying to take difficult concepts and explore them in accessible, interesting and engaging ways. I also strive to experiment with new innovative ways of engaging in the learning process. I am not the only one that benefits from this experimentation. My students do as well.
When it comes to education, the process is often the product, and I continually learn as I teach.
REFLECTIONS & THOUGHTS ON PEDAGOGY
I believe that the best teachers are reflective teachers. To this end, I have documented my thoughts on teaching and experiments in the classroom via my blog. Additionally, given my research interest in the intersection of digital and social technology with student learning and development, I have also written extensively on the topic.
Click here to explore some of my blog posts and thought pieces related to pedagogy. You can also click here to review my refereed and invited presentations, many of which relate to student learning and development.
- Capstone in Higher Education (HED 590C), 4 credits, graduate-level, Merrimack College: Spring 2015 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation)
- Higher Education Fellowship Internship Experience (HED 560G/561G), 2-4 credits, gradaute-level, Merrimack College: Fall 2012 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation), Spring 2013 (Syllabus); Fall 2013 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation); Spring 2014 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation); Fall 2014 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation); Spring 2015 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation)
- Advanced Field Experience in Higher Education (ED 977), 1 credit, graduate-level, Boston College: Spring 2012 (Syllabus, Teaching Observation, Course Evaluation); Spring 2013, 2 sections (Syllabus, Course Evaluation Section 1, Course Evaluation Section 2); Spring 2014 (Syllabus, Course Evaluation)
- Field Experience in Higher Education (ED 976), 2 credits, graduate-level, Boston College: Team taught with Michelle Brown-Kerrigan and Dr. Heather Rowan Kenyon, Fall 2011 (Syllabus); Team taught with Michelle Brown-Kerrigan, Fall 2012 (Syllabus, Teaching Observation); 2 credits, graduate-level, Boston College: Team taught with Kevin Gin and Dr. Heather Rowan Kenyon, Fall 2013 (Syllabus)
- Introduction to Scholarship, Leadership and Service (HON 280), 1 credit, undergraduate-level, Miami University, 8 sections between January 2003-May 2006 (Sample Syllabus)
- Student Development in the Residence Halls (EDL 301), 1 credit, undergraduate-level, Miami University, Spring 2004 (Syllabus)
Teaching Assistant Experience
- Theories of Student Development (ED/PY 778), 3 credits, graduate-level, with Dr. Karen Arnold, Boston College, Spring 2012 (Syllabus); Spring 2014, 2 sections (Syllabus)
- Higher Education in American Society (ED 770), 3 credits, graduate-level, with Dr. Michael James, Boston College, Fall 2013 (Syllabus)
- Contemporary Issues in Higher Education: Advanced Student Development Theory (ED 708), 3 credits, graduate-level, with Dr. Karen Arnold, Boston College, Fall 2013
- Introduction to College Student Personnel Work (CSP 552), 3 credits, graduate-level, with Dr. Robert Reason, Western Illinois University, Fall 2001
- Introduction to Logic (PHIL 111), 3 credits, undergraduate-level, with Dr. Stacey Edgar, SUNY Geneseo, Fall 1999
- Minds, Dreams, and Machines (PHIL 103), 3 credits, undergraduate-level, with Dr. William Edgar, SUNY Geneseo, Spring 1999
Further Pedagogical Experience
- ACT Fellow (Fall 2013-2014), Apprenticeship in College Teaching Program, Boston College. Co-coordinated, planned and implemented a year-long professional development program on teaching for graduate student instructors and teaching assistants. Specifically presented on: Grading, Teaching with Social Media, Developing an E-Portfolio, Leading Discussions, and Developing Engaging Lectures
- Orientation Planning Team (Fall 2012), Apprenticeship in College Teaching Program, Boston College. Co-developed, implemented, and presented an orientation and training program for graduate student instructors and teaching assistants
- Coordinator for Honors & Scholars Living Learning Community (LLC) Courses (July 2004-June 2006), University Honors & Scholars Program, Miami University. Collaborated on redeveloping first year LLC course syllabus, and the creation of two upper-class LLC course syllabi; Co-developed enriched residence hall-based sections of English Composition for Honors and Scholars students; Recruited and trained instructors and Undergraduate Associates
Awards and Recognition
- Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award (2014). Given to a Teaching Fellow at Boston College in recognition of outstanding teaching and performance in the classroom.
Training and Certifications
- Apprenticeship in College Teaching Certificate (Completed Spring 2013), Boston College. Met the requirements for certification including (1) attending a teaching orientation, (2) attending at least seven teaching workshops, (3) submit an original syllabus for review, (4) conduct a teaching observation of a faculty member, (5) undergo an teaching observation, and (6) complete a teaching portfolio. In completing these requirements, I attended workshops on: (1) Grading, (2) Creating a Teaching Portfolio, (3) Conducting a Teaching Observation, (4) Classroom Management, (5) Using Technology in Your Teaching, (6) Leading Discussions, (7) Teaching and Learning Styles, and (8) Syllabus Construction.
- Faculty-Professional Learning Community on Living Learning Communities (August 2004-May 2005), Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), Miami University. Applied for and participated in a year-long learning community to enhance the curricular components of living learning communities at Miami University
- Course: CSP 571: Teaching and Training in Student Affairs, 1 credit hour, graduate-level, Western Illinois University, Spring 2001.
Teaching and Learning Conferences
- Ann Ferren Teaching Conference, American University, Washington, DC, 2007
- Lilly International Confernece on College Teaching, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 2004
Digital Guest Lectures
I digitally guest lecture for graduate classes on a pro bono basis and as my schedule allows. Institutions include: Bowling Green State University, California Lutheran University, Indiana University, University of Binghamton, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, University of North Texas, and University of Northern Colorado.