My Teaching Philosophy
When reflecting on my teaching philosophy it is important that I highlight the main influencers that helped to shape my belief system in regards to teaching. First, I have been surrounded by pedagogically sound mentors who have helped me understand the importance of curriculum and the role it plays in instruction. These same mentors have also encouraged me to set high academic standards for students, and to respect the diversity of voices and experiences that can be part of a classroom setting.
My instruction is centered on one dynamic-the theory of constructivism. I believe that students have the power to create their own learning, and that I can merely be a facilitator in the learning process. While one could assume that my role is passive in all of this, I whole-heartedly disagree because I serve as an active guide during the learning process. While students grapple with their own learning, I stand in the gap and provide a road map to help scaffold student’s learning.
One powerful belief that I have is that all students come to the academic table poised to learn. I realize that in order to capitalize on this energy, I know that I have to provide effective instruction that promotes a proactive learning experience for all of my students. I know that I have to be prepared to provide engagement strategies that motivates my students to explore the curriculum put before them. I also know that as the instructor, I need to provide clear expectations and goals for my students so that they clearly understand the path to learning that I am creating for them.
I also believe that my classroom should be one that is safe and nurturing. Students realize that I am promoting a positive learning environment that is mutually inclusive and respective. Students have a voice in the creation of their learning, and they feel safe sharing opinions and thoughts on issues that may seem controversial to outsiders. Providing a safe classroom environment is important to me.
In order to be a counselor, one has to learn how to teach. In my seventeen years of being in the field of education, I have vacillated between the roles of teacher and counselor. It has been the role of teacher that has truly helped me to develop my identity in the role of counselor.
My Teaching Experience
LEAD Teacher/Therapist, PITT COUNTY SCHOOLS, August 2002-July 2007
As the Lead Teacher at the PORT School, my job duties included teaching psycho educational lessons that consisted of (Grief & Loss, Family Issues, Discovering Who am I, Smoking Cessation, Human Sexuality, and Stress) in a group setting, running group therapy sessions, helping students return to their base school, and assisting students in earning their GED at Pitt Community College.
Freshman Seminar Instructor (UNV 1000), UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE, August 2014-Currently
Engage first year students through weekly classroom discussions centered on helping students understand the academic/social policies of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Teach students how to manage their time wisely, learn about their personality identity according to the MBTI assessment, adjust to academic rigor/pressure of college life, and help students transition from high school to college life.
Strategies for Success Instructor (UNV 1100), UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE, January 2016-Currently
Instruct probation students through weekly classroom discussions centered on helping students understand how to regain their academic success. Teach students how to manage their time wisely, understanding the importance of sleep and stress management. Help students learn how to work in groups, complete a 10-minute presentation, create a resume, and write a research paper. The class also re introduces students back to campus resources that they can use to help with the academic rigor/pressure of college life.
Adjunct Faculty Instructor for the Clinical Mental Health Program at UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE, August 2016-Currently
Engage graduate level students through bi-weekly classroom & online discussions centered on helping students understand how to setup counseling sessions at their internship site. Provides supervision and instruction regarding bi weekly clinical case presentations. Offers various therapeutic modalities for interns to follow as they develop their therapeutic “toolbox”.