Playing for Pets group

Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher, my goal is to expand the minds of my students by challenging their ways of thinking.  Anyone can stand in a room and read from a book, and many can offer a well-prepared lecture, but great teachers are ones who demand more than memorization of the material.  Great teachers challenge students, through the material, to reevaluate their assumptions about the world and their place in it. Likewise, journalism is not always about simply reporting facts, but often about effecting change.  I strive to make students understand that, as journalists, they have tremendous potential to influence, and that if they are not aware of their own biases and ethical paradigms, they may wield this influence haphazardly and detrimentally.  Obviously, this is a far more challenging endeavor than preparing a simple lecture, but it is one that I love and crave.     

To challenge students in this way requires that I view them not as a homogenized mass, waiting to be molded, but as a diverse group of learners who must be met individually. With journalism, especially, students bring to the classroom different backgrounds and, consequently, and have their own, often divergent, views on the media.  I must be adaptive to work with the range of ideas this produces. 

Though I emphasize the theory side of journalism to my students, I also bring to the classroom my substantial experience and expertise in the technical aspects of the field.  Teaching advertising, audio and video production, and editing require the use of a wide variety of equipment and computer programs.  It is vital to me that my students leave my classroom with a solid understanding of these “tools of the trade.”

My backgrounds in English and mass communication work well to compliment one another in teaching journalism and speech. My background in English gives me the ability to help students analyze the use of language and its implications, while my mass communication experience helps me to show students effective ways to communicate with others in an easy-to-understand manner.  

Continued professional development on my part is done not simply because it pads a resume, or even because it satisfies my own intellectual curiosity, but because it enables me to reach a more diverse range of students on even deeper levels.  As a writer and filmmaker outside of class, I believe my continued practice means I will only continue to grow more adept at teaching such classes.