In Letters to a Spiritual Seeker, Henry Thoreau advises, “Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” There are six components in this brief adage, yet to me the first is the most essential. Teaching is doing what I love. From my first exposure to teaching as a teaching assistant in my Master’s program, it became clear to me that teaching others was a passion of mine. I believe that in order for students to be successful learners, they need to be empowered, supported, and motivated. As an instructor, it is my responsibility to create a learning atmosphere conducive to these conditions. I strive to create lectures that are both fun and interactive, allowing time for students to participate in discussion about course content. Overall, my philosophy of teaching originates from the recognition that in order for students to be fully engaged, information must be taught in a manner that is dynamic, informative, and inviting. As Viktor Frankl wrote: “Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”
Lastly, I am highly inspired by the lifetime work of Mister Fred Rogers, who wrote, "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet, how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something that you leave at every meeting with another person."