I believe as an ethnographer and teacher in the area of race, culture, media, it is my responsibility to facilitate a teaching environment in pursuit of two core learning objectives for students:
As an Assistant Professor at a public higher education institution, I believe it is my responsibility to facilitate a teaching environment that prepares students to: 1) grasp concepts and perspectives for foundational understanding; 2) attend to lingering questions and sudden insights or ‘jolts’ throughout the learning process; 3) find value and meaning in failure, revision, rejection, and slow learning; 4) connect concepts, perspectives, and critical reflections about the learning process in ways that will enhance their personal lives and professional/career goals.
There are two primary benchmarks for determining that my core objectives are meant:
that students are able to demonstrate an understanding of content presented in the classroom by incorporating their own and others’ ideas and critiques;
that students are able to reflect on what they learned, what they struggle to understand, and how they are learning so as to take what they know and how they know out into the world.
In order to fulfill my teaching philosophy and enhance pedagogical practices, I have set concrete goals for the next few years. These goals include: incorporate more innovative approaches to project-based learning and in-class discussion; study up on strategies for teaching large lectures and advising; prepare unfinished papers on teaching methods for publication in teaching journals; attend at least two professional development events per year; teach one independent study course per year that will allow me to advise more students to complete student and faculty research projects, and help students prepare their work for graduation, future careers, and/or publication.