My Teaching Philosophy During the past few years I have enjoyed successful classes and have been able to instill a great deal of knowledge in a diverse group of students. All the while, I have enjoyed learning from them and cultivating my abilities as an educator. I believe that a clear understanding and communication of expectations contributes to the positive results in my courses. The expectations that I have of students’ performances are made clear, as are the expectations the students should have in my performance. On a daily basis, this is established by providing an agenda of the materials and activities that will be covered for a particular class at the beginning of the session. This practice leaves no room for surprises and maintains an organized class environment.
Extensive preparation, chalkboard management, and a variety of activities and deliveries of materials that focus on maintaining the attention of the students further achieve good class management. Detailed preparation involves memorizing the lesson and preparing examples, worksheets, and activities. I use “chalkboard management” to facilitate the students’ note-taking and understanding of the material presented. First orally stating what I am about to write, then repeating while writing it achieves this. I also pay careful attention to letter size, legibility, and to avoid obstructing students’ vantage points. Finally, I try to vary the learning activities in the classroom in order to keep the students’ interest, including small group sessions, in-class problem solving, and puzzles.
One of my most valuable assets as a teacher is the ability to place the material I am teaching into a context, that today’s student can relate to. Frequently, a lesson begins with an anecdote or with a situation that demonstrates how the subject to be covered can be applied in the real world. This practice helps foster a positive attitude and enthusiasm towards the subject matter. In order to make the connection with math and my students’ lives, I apply course materials to examples they can relate to. Some examples include buying CDs, clothes, and sports.
Using baseball in order to teach the concept of probabilities is a personal favorite. I try to incorporate a diverse range of examples in order to reach every one of the students in the classroom all in an effort to answer the eternal question in math education: “when am I ever going to use this?” Using the principle of discovery, learning objectives are elucidated through a process of observations and inductive reasoning. For example, when explaining properties of quadratic equations, students are prompted to observe the graphs and make observation regarding the orientation of the graph, the intersects, etc., and then they are asked to make generalizations.
My ability to make a connection with my students is further aided by my methods of delivery. I use humor, a calm tone, and I address every student’s question and concern with patience and compassion, being mindful in timing my response so that I do not cut the student off. This level of care contributes to a learning environment that is nurturing, where students feel secure, and can explore mathematics without the threat of being ridiculed or demeaned.
My concern for students and their academic progress extends beyond the formal class sessions and include extra office hours, out of class reviews before exams, and giving out my cell phone number. I am delighted to report that all of these have not only been utilized to the benefit of my students, but also that none have been abused. This environment has lead to high student retention and student satisfaction evaluations that are well above the college average.
In the courses I have taught, student evaluation is handled fairly and promptly. Most importantly, students have a clear understanding of how their grades are calculated at the beginning of each course, so that misunderstandings are avoided as the course progresses. Weekly quizzes and worksheets are used as early as the first week of the semester to maintain student participation and to monitor their progress. Along with the objective feedback that quizzes and exams offer, I try to identify, as early in the course as possible, the students whose performance in the class may be lagging behind their classmates, and I intervene with subjective feedback on their progress. This allows both the student and I, to come up with a plan that will allow them to succeed in the course. For example, I will take the time to prepare individual extra practice worksheets for these students, and we will spend additional time together, working through the problems so that I can better understand their level of comprehension of the subject matter. This is a practice that I am particularly proud of, because I can truly see the impact that I have made on these students, who otherwise would have failed, or had to drop the course. I also will allow students to retake quizzes, if they have initially failed the original quiz, and if they demonstrate the will and desire to work harder, and to turn in extra work. It is my policy that passing my course is as much my responsibility as it is the student’s. Therefore, when students are struggling, I will spent the additional time and effort to make sure they are grasping the concepts, and I will rewrite a quiz and allow them to show proficiency in the subject matter, so that they can progress in their education. When a student registers for my course, it is my personal belief that it is my job to get him or her through it successfully. I have thorough expertise in the subject of mathematics education with a profound and diverse background in the field. My extensive academic background includes graduate-level courses requiring the application of advanced mathematics including electronics, engineering, design, automated control systems, and ultrasonic sensing. Capped with an advanced degree in Mathematic Education, this breadth of knowledge enriches the core discipline of each course I teach with real world examples of how to apply each subject.
I have relied on a command of the field of mathematics throughout my professional life from my experiences as a practicing engineer and graduate researcher, to managing and owning a small business. In this latest and most fulfilling chapter of my professional life it has been a pleasure to continue to enrich my own expertise in mathematics as well as my students. Most importantly, I apply the feedback from the student satisfaction surveys and from the individuals in my classes, regarding both my strengths and weakness, in order to refine my teaching skills.
MED MATHEMATICS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
PHD UF ADMITTED TO CANDIDACY
BS AG ENGINEERING ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
MAC 1140 Precalculus Algebra Syllabus
MAC 1114 Trigonometry Syllabus
MAC 2311 Calculus 1 Syllabus
MAC 2312 Calculus 2 Syllabus
MAC 2313 Calculus 3 Syllabus
MAS 2202 Syllabus
MAT 1920 Syllabus