Much of my philosophy of teaching has developed from my experiences as a student. As I have recalled teachers who influenced me in positive ways…as well as those who did not…I have tried to integrate effective behaviors and attitudes into my teaching. Teaching experience has shaped my philosophy and style as desirable and undesirable outcomes have impacted my behavior through trial and error…some things work and some not so well. It is also great to have colleagues who share information learned at teaching conferences, gleaned from research journals, and from their own experiences.
I prefer an active classroom. While it can take a good bit of effort and energy, I prefer to plan activities and discussions that will engage all of us in the process and that will make it tough to sleep through a course. I must admit that there are some days when it seems as if it would be much easier just to lecture for 50 minutes on a given topic. In all honesty, it might be easier for students too but it might not promote the kind of learning we value.
I try to model the desire to seek knowledge and wisdom. I try to model the ability to consider other points of view. I do not even have to try to model a coping strategy for making mistakes and correcting them. I make plenty of mistakes to work with.
I graduated from Campbellsville College (now University) and later earned a Master’s degree in Counseling at Western Kentucky University. I earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Capella University. My dissertation research focused on the connection between the ability to decode nonverbal expression of emotion and academic success among college freshmen.
At CU in addition to teaching I work with the Office of Academic Affairs on assessment, professional development, academic support, and general education. All that keeps me pretty busy but teaching is where the fun is!
I enjoy teaching at CU. I love the beginning of the semester...and the end of the semester…one of the great things about working on a semester schedule is that you get to start fresh every few months. College students are great fun, ask great questions, and keep you on your toes. I cannot think of a place I would rather work or something I would rather teach. Whether a student majors in psychology, take a general psychology course, or picks a few psychology courses as electives, I know there is not only the opportunity for them to learn solid critical thinking, writing, and communicating skills but they can learn something useful that they can apply in their lives.