Teaching Philosophy

My goal as a educator is to encourage my students to think clearly and rationally, communicate clearly and persuasively, and behave with respect towards all. Students leaving the classroom with their capabilities increased in these three areas will be offered wider doors of opportunity. My methods in achieving these goals are learner-centered. Only by providing access to learning which is both attractive and possible to the student will we succeed in influencing and developing him or her.

The study of mathematics promotes clear thinking, and mathematics learning can be made more accessible to students of all levels by teaching it in an intuitive and real way. Mathematics is currently taught through the use of extreme detail, a bottom-up approach which loses students’ interest. I try to re-work mathematics concepts so that they can be taught top-down, which is much more compelling. A lifetime involvement in mathematics and in communicating with different audiences helps me achieve this difficult intellectual objective.

Communication and respect are best taught by example, and so I as educator model both communication and respect towards my students. Communication takes place clearly and promptly through these mechanisms: many assessments (e.g. homework, quizzes, tests, projects, etc.) much feedback, prompt feedback, and unambiguous, accessible up-to-date data. Specifically, each student has access to the system containing all data by which s/he is being judged.

Respect takes place both through mutual teacher/student and student/student interaction in the classroom, and through the immediate opportunity to improve assessments. Specifically, each student is able to repair poor assessments, missing homework, etc. This is an example of seizing the opportunity of maximizing learning by offering a student concrete and desirable goals, namely, improving his scores.

The environment in which this learning takes place is characterized by advocacy. The one thing my students are sure of is that I am for them; that I care about them. The work in my classroom is hard, and the data about themselves to which they have access can be hard to face. But the one thing my students are sure of is that I will do anything to make them understand math and to achieve good test scores. This understanding in their hearts is the magic by which hard learning takes place.