My teaching philosophy is characterized by growth through discovery. It is my belief that it is a teacher’s job to coach a student through the challenging stages of intellectual development. My goal for all of my students, no matter their career ambitions, is for them to ultimately achieve a sense of confidence in their ability to ask novel questions and find creative solutions. I aim to instill passion in my students regardless of whether or not they share my personal passions. I am most proud of my students when they begin to question the limits of my knowledge as I see it as a sign that they have begun to realize that they themselves are capable of answering their own questions.
When I teach, my chosen course content naturally stems from my field of genetics but the material is merely the stage upon which I coach my students in expanding the methods of processing information and synthesizes new ideas. The biological sciences lend themselves easily to hands-on learning. During a given class period, I try to maximize the amount of time my students spend doing science rather than receiving scientific information. Science is a never-ending endeavor that often lacks clear avenues for the expansion of knowledge. I want my students to understand that the information they receive is neither complete nor infallible. I want them to feel as if they have a stake in the growth and evolution of scientific knowledge.
Just as science is an ongoing exercise in growth so is my teaching. I learn best how to be a better teacher directly from student feedback. I assess my teaching success through traditional means such as exams but also through direct engagement with my students. By cultivating an atmosphere of mutual respect, I feel I receive valuable feedback from students both in-class and one-on-one. It is my belief that such feedback gives me the ability to create a curriculum that is challenging, fair, and beneficial to a diverse student body.