An educator is provided with a wealth of opportunities to shape the lives of students by creating unique learning opportunities that inspire students to pursue their own educational experiences. I believe that the most powerful learning opportunities are created through personalized connections between student and educator that result in increased expectations and commitment from both parties. Teaching college students, who by their nature are seeking new learning experiences, provide both the most frequent and meaningful opportunities to create the connections that push both students and educators to grow.
It has always been my goal as an educator to provide a positive environment for students to thrive academically as well as to grow as individuals. I provide them with a solid foundation in preparatory topics for future coursework, as well as begin to develop their communication skills. There are several different teaching techniques that I use in both the lecture and lab sections of my course that I believe add to each student’s ability to learn as well as succeed in the course.
Each student comes to the University with different backgrounds, perceptions, and ideas, and it is my job as an educator to provide course material that both accommodates these differences as well as to create opportunities for new learning and experiences. Informatics and Computer Science provides a particularly interesting challenge in that women and racial minorities are hugely underrepresented in course enrollment and degrees that are offered at the undergraduate level. I have made a concerted effort to incorporate material (real-world examples, etc…) into my courses that are relatable to all persons within my classroom as well as using active learning and team based learning to empower students in their learning.