• Teaching Philosophy

    Goals for Student Learning

    In the field of Human Services the goal needs to be to focus on the student as a whole first and foremost. Working, teaching, and studying within this field can lead to high rates of burnout and it is crucial to remember that just like our clients and us, that students are people first. Their mental and physical health must be the most important aspect of them as a student. Someone whose mental or physical health is not well cannot be an effective advocate or worker in the world of Human Services just as a student whose mental or physical health is not well cannot be an effective student.

    It is also important to remember the difference between learning material and passing a class. In this discipline it can be quick, high workloads, and fast paced in the industry. So ensuring that students are learning and retaining material as opposed to just passing a class is important to be sure they will have the knowledge and skills readily available once they are out of an academic setting. Students will not always have time and resources to help them in the field to make a decision; so retaining the necessary knowledge is crucial

    Enactment of Goals

    In this discipline one of the most important teaching methods to use is case based learning. With its focus on real world application case analysis are crucial to a Human Services program because they implore the student the opportunity to make decisions as if they were the social worker or advocate in charge of a real life case. There is also no shortage of case analyses available to use because of the ability to use previous real life cases as practice within a class making it my favored method of teaching and learning for this field.

    Assessment of Goals

    While grades are always a priority the focus in a class in the Human Services field needs to be more on the retaining of skills and knowledge, then just on memorization or passing. Because of this I would not punish a student with a low grade if it was clear to me they were giving forth their best effort. My solution to a student who is giving forth effort but doesn’t understand the material and/or who does poorly on a Case Analysis would be to have them do it over or repeat a similar assignment after more help from myself. Failing a student does not benefit the student or me. Failing a student only gives me a student who is now behind on material that will build upon itself, and the student has a failing grade and still does not have the needed knowledge. We both experience negative effects if I simply fail the student without an attempt at teaching the material again. If I expect the students to put forth their best effort I myself must do so too.

    Creating an Inclusive Environment

    In Human Services class there are a lot of sensitive topics that will likely be very personal to at least one, if not many students in any given classroom. With the diverse backgrounds that students bring this comes out very prominently given sensitive subjects such as family issues, personal issues, and social issues. It is important to create a welcoming and inclusive environment so that students are able to draw upon their own experiences and pasts to bring them into their work or the classroom. Recognizing that each student has a different background is important to ensure that each student is learning the material even if that means taking into account the possibility of different learning styles. Use of different types of learning material is one of the best ways to integrate diverse learning styles and perspectives into the classroom.