“She was definitely the best professor that I’ve ever had. She has a passion for the subject and it shows through her teaching.”
–Anonymous literature student
“I like that it’s not your typical college course. She actually knows everyone’s name and you can tell that she truly cares. She makes the class entertaining.”
–Anonymous composition student
“She was very enthusiastic and you can tell she really enjoys what she teaches, which is contagious.”
–Anonymous research writing student
- The Whole Shebang: My Complete Teaching Portfolio
- Additional Samples:
- Conference Presentation
I fell into teaching accidentally. I was not the little girl who played school with her dolls all afternoon. Quite frankly, I had no idea what I was doing the first day I stepped into the classroom.
Thankfully, I’ve come quite far since those early days. Teaching is my passion. For me, educating isn’t a job; it’s a way of life. This profession has touched my soul and I delight in its daily challenges.
Sometimes, when my classroom is alive with excited chatter about deconstructing social identities or rhetorically analyzing a commercial aired during their favorite television program, the realization of what we, as educators, do knocks the breath out of me. I witness students grow into active participants of their culture and learn to navigate social norms, skills so critical in our current society. I’m excited for their future, our future.
Each class, I strive for every student to be fully engaged in the lesson at hand. As educationalists know, this is no small feat. To accomplish this task, my teaching style focuses on active, student-centered learning that encourages critical thinking and real-life application to their media-filled lives. To see this philosophy in action, please see the example lessons featured in this portfolio.
For me, the most rewarding element of teaching comes when I feel like my class has extended beyond the bounds of the classroom. The goal of my course is not for students to leave with the ability to differentiate between a dangling and a misplaced modifier, but instead to give them the tools to start critically analyzing the world around them. When students report that they can no longer passively watch TV, but instead are distracted by mentally deconstructing the social identities of the characters and considering the values the commercials are portraying to their audience, that’s success. In one semester, my students transform from passive, five-paragraph-writing robots to active, critical thinking ninjas.
Community stands as one of my main pillars of learning in the classroom. Over the years, I have found it to be the single most significant element of my teaching style that transcends the intimidation of a college composition course. Mainly by teaching with humor and working in groups, I am able to break down barriers with my students to get them excited about coming to class and learning. I know all of my students and my students know each other. We are a community of learners who work through our struggles and celebrate our successes together.
As some of you may know, my transition into the College of Charleston has not been an easy one. These students have challenged me in ways I did not expect. My first semester left me frustrated, confused, and discouraged. For that I am thankful. These students have changed my understanding of what it takes to be a successful educator. Through the mentoring program and consulting with others in the department about my struggles, my time at CofC has done more to shape my teaching philosophy than any other program in which I have been involved.
Although I never imagined I’d be the one at the front of the classroom, teaching is most fulfilling job I have ever had and I look forward to continuing my growth as an instructor.
header photo credit