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I believe teaching is a multifaceted discipline that bestows instructors with various responsibilities. I have identified four of those responsibilities as the pillars of my teaching philosophy:  to connect with a diversity of students and recognize them as metamorphic beings; to help empower them with critical thinking skills, problem solving strategies and the life long-learning capacities essential to future success; to submerge myself in knowledge and be transformed and transform others in the process; and, last but not least, to make a difference.
Teachers must connect with students and vice-versa.  Communication is the key and the instructor sets the example. I strive to achieve this connection at a personal and professional level. At the personal level, I let students know that I’m an immediate instructor. That they can approach me with questions, problems and concerns about the course and their educational goals. Good communication at the professional level includes providing students with a detailed syllabus and consistent office hours. And, most importantly, it includes clear, informative and relevant classroom discussions in a setting conducive to learning and sharing multiple ideas and opinions.
While making these connections I recognize that, like rocks, students are metamorphic. They are constantly learning, developing and progressing. I think it is important to recognize this change and comment on it. Improvement leads to enthusiasm, which leads to determination. I make an effort to recognize and praise these skills as they emerge.
Although I want students to learn the fundamental content of the subjects I’ll be teaching, this is not my only goal.  The students’ ability to think critically, solve problems and learn for life is the number one determinant of their future academic success. I incorporate classroom exercises and activities which foster those abilities and skills.  But, I’m also very aware that “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”  I expect students to be involved and invested in their own learning. My good intentions will not go far without the students’ genuine efforts to advance their knowledge and life experiences. 
In addition, my professional development and knowledge plays a big part in my ability to attain and maintain excellent teaching standards. I constantly seek and advance my own understanding either via the classroom, academic research and conferences, professional development seminiars, and other experiences outside academia. I expect that classroom interactions will provide a continuous source of information and life perspectives and I’m looking forward to accessing that supply. 
Finally, I believe that teaching is a very difficult career full of ups and downs, satisfaction and frustration. But, I also believe strongly that teachers make a difference. I recognize that my dedication and inspiration can change a student’s life in many ways – one of which can be a higher standard of living. Statistics confirm that a higher education equals higher earnings, which in turn equals better economic prospects. The student who I inspire today, might save his family out of poverty tomorrow and the outcome can reap benefits for decades.  I resolutely believe on this possibility because I am a product of similar circumstances. Thanks to my father’s encounter with a wonderful education, I am here today reaping the benefits of his success and providing my children with even better opportunities than I was afforded. 
I aim to make a difference one student at a time.


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