Two weeks ago I borrowed this book from my advisor. This book is pretty old, but still gives a lots of useful advise from how to design a course to how to do a lecture. My advisor knows now I’m getting started to write my teaching philosophy. As a result, he told me we have to spend some time in our every meeting to discuss about teaching. Ahhhh~~ so nice of him……
Anyway!! Let me get back to the topic of this week!
Instead of thinking about what kind of teacher I want to be, I would like to first think about what kind of people I wish my students can be after they graduate. Because the primary goal is to prepare them for their future career, I list a few characteristics and skills that I aim to helping them to develop in my courses:
curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, solid background, self-learning ability, confidence, a sense of achievement, perseverance, carefulness, patience.
Among all of them, the most important one is to help them enjoy a sense of achievement during their learning process!!! I believe this is the key to other things because a sense of achievement will give them confidence to discover new knowledge, exhibit their curiosity, use their imagination, create and present their own opinions in front of others. In other words, learning should be fun for my students! The second two important things are to provide them solid background and to help them further develop perseverance, carefulness, patience, and more importantly self-learning ability! I don’t expect that all knowledge they learn in class are useful for their future career, or they can still remember when they really need to use it. What learning in college most benefits them is let them know how to deal with a problem, how to make a right decision, where to find the resources, how to overcome difficulties and frustration, how to do work under pressure, how to express their own opinion but also respect comments from others and etc.
In summary, I think the learning process is actually more important than the knowledge delivered in class. College is highly likely to be their last education in their lives. During these four years, we need to teach them to become their own teachers so that they can learn new things on their own when it’s needed.
But… How to make my students have the above mentioned skills and characteristics?
Oh well… I still haven’t figured it out yet… :p