My goal for the classroom is to provide an environment conducive to learning, where creativity is stimulated not stifled, and there is discussion not dictation. With the standards as my blue print, I want the students to question ideas and theories; and with a presentation of the facts, they will be able to derive their own conclusions.
I have only been teaching for nine years but education has been changed dramatically since I started because of evolving technology. My goal is to embrace that change but be mindful not to lose the integrity of the craft. The past couple of years I have started to assign podcasts, TED talks and documentaries through YouTube for homework. Although I still think there is still admiration for the "old school" way of readings and lectures, technology has been a great addition to my courses.
One thing our history department has added this year, is a Great Books seminar. This adheres to more of a traditional style of teaching, and I will have to admit, I was skeptical at the onset. This past summer, I picked readings for the sophomores and seniors. These readings came from great thinkers like: Arsitotle, Machiavelli, John Locke, Andrew Carnegie, Frederick Hayek and many more. The purpose of these readings was to challenge the students with a intensive reading and then conduct a seminar, which was an hour-long discussion about the text. The purpose was to keep it open-ended and see where the conversation led us. It was truly remarkable to give the students the reins of the conversation and watch their minds at work.
My teaching philosophy continues to evolve as there is still plenty of room for enhancement and a changing educational climate.