Teaching Statement & Philosophy

 

Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice.”

-Xunzi

     I like to teach because I enjoy sharing my excitement for biology with others.  It is always enjoyable to witness the eureka moment when students finally grasp a new concept or draw connections among concepts.  My favorite interactions during my teaching experiences have been working with students one-on-one or in small groups because I am better able to ensure that all students understand the material and witness moments of comprehension.  In addition to classroom teaching, student research is a great way to teach students in a one-on-one or small group setting and provides students with a better understanding of the process of scientific discovery.  

     Biology, like all science, is a story of discovery and I want to teach students by telling them this story and involving them in the process of discovery.  I believe incorporation of historical perspective on the origins and progressive accumulation of support for theories in biology is important to humanize the subject and present it as a story of progress instead of a static set of facts.  I believe it is important for students to know failure and persistence are at the heart of all scientific pursuits.  Attaching a person or group of people and their struggles to understanding an idea presented in class can make science more approachable.  My teaching philosophy centers on engaging students by presenting science as a human narrative, emphasizing its relevance, and by being approachable and available when questions arise, mentoring students through the learning process.  I view my role as a facilitator in the classroom and an authority on the subject when students need a little more reassurance during the learning process. 

Teaching Experience

Instructor of Record

Environmental Biology                                   Fall 2016, Spring 2017

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

Guest Lectures

Marine Environmental Science                      Summer 2016

& Conservation          

Shoals Marine Lab, Appledore Island, ME, USA

Lectured on conservation genetics

Principles of Ecology                                      Fall 2014, 2015

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

Facilitated small group and whole class discussions on various topics in ecology; Lectured on biogeography

Teaching Assistantships

Invertebrate Zoology Teaching Assistant       Spring 2008 – 2010, 2013-14

Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

 

Introductory Biology Teaching Assistant       Fall 2007, 2013

Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA

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