THE SEARCHLIGHT MESSENGER
The philosophy of teaching I have embraced is based on the belief that
learning is student centered and that students need to be equal partners in the
learning process. There must be present, a student mentor relationship of
trust. There should, however, always be an authoritative presence in the
mentor. This leadership should be omnipresent, whether in the classroom or
online. The mentoring teacher’s role involves using his expertise to place
necessary resources in the hands of the student and to train him to be not just
knowledgeable in his chosen fields of study, but to become an expert at
resourcefulness and seek the role of “teacher’ himself. It is here where
leadership is taught through example.
Now that the majority of
teaching is performed on an online forum, students now know that the teacher’s
role in the online classroom is to be a facilitator, in addition to being a
provider of information. As with my on campus students and students whom I
tutor, I create multiple discussion questions to keep the online discussion
exciting and stimulating, and to address the multiple backgrounds and interests
of my learners. With all pupils, I provide ongoing rhetorical, written,
auditory and visual illustration in my classroom environment, particularly in
Anatomy and Physiology as well as Microbiology, Hematology, and Clinical Chemistry, in addition to
General Biology. I am always there to support them as they seek their answers,
and encourage them to work together to get the most out of their learning.
Detailed descriptions of writing assignments should always be provided so that
students are able to see how a good finished product shines.
To me, the most important skills that I can help a
student develop are the skills of observational resourcefulness and abstraction.
This incorporates their ability to critically think about the information
sought, and writing cohesively as to reveal their own expertise when studying
the medical sciences and biology. This didactic experience moves the student
easily into the domain of the practicing clinician or professional biologist.
Every course I teach is seen through the lens of objective information processing and
critical thinking skills needed to be effective in the practice of science. I am
passionate about the use of writing skills as a technique in teaching students to be more aware of
their thinking and to be careful and reasoned in their acceptance of new scientific information. If they leave me with a healthy skepticism of information and the
skill to use technology to access better evidence, I will have accomplished my
goal, and know that I have helped produce another professional.