Teaching Philosophy

My lessons are always constructed with the student in mind.  What do they already know?  What do they need to accomplish their current task?  How could this learning fit into the larger scheme of college and life?  Instruction should always be learner-centered, active, authentic, and focused on the community of the classroom.  Students bring with them experiences and knowledge that affects how they receive, process, and deal with information.  Education is powerful and transformative. Students not only need the fundamental skills to access information but they also need to know the why’s of information: Why should we listen to that author?  Why is what they wrote important?  Why does it matter where it’s found and how it was created?  Why should I experiment with how I find information?  The answer to these questions have implications not only in how they research and create their own academic voice, but how they interact with the world beyond institutional walls.

Teaching Experience

My classroom teaching experience mostly consists of my student teaching and a long-term substitute position. As a student teacher, I taught Sophomore English and Senior Workplace Communication. These classes centered on research and composition, reading skills, workplace readiness, interpersonal communication, and personal life skills that contribute to success in school and career.  After completing my certification, I substituted for a full semester teaching 6th Grade Reading and 8th Grade Reading.  These classes concentrated on analytical and critical thinking and the application of new knowledge.

After leaving the classroom, I completed my MLS and worked as a School Library Media Specialist for a college prep school.  I provided course-integrated information literacy instruction to students who were taking college credit bearing coursework.  This instruction included all aspects of information literacy including the research process, locating and utilizing resources, analyzing sources, and responding to academic literature to create papers, projects, and presentations.  In addition to teaching, I also oversaw the school library.  As a public librarian, I taught in a variety of situations including technology classes, staff training, school research workshops, and a variety of programs.  Each of these situations demanded knowledge of teaching practices for students in elementary school all the way to elderly adults.

I have supported classes from three institutions of higher education in a variety of courses in over 70 one-shot and multi-session lessons.  Some of these courses have included: Intro to Media Studies, English Comp II, Organic Chem I and II, General Biology, Public Speaking, Intro to Business, General Psychology, and English as a Second Language.  I enjoy teaching information literacy skills within the context of different disciplines and always aim to make activities and instruction as authentic as possible for students.