Thinking Teaching

Having now been lecturing for a few years, I’ve had the opportunity and time to think about what kind of lecturer I want to be. I wrote this down a while ago but decided to share it now – because thinking about and sharing best practice makes us all better teachers, and because ECRs just starting to think about teaching might find it useful.

Teaching Philosophy

  1. I will be available to and contactable by the students. I will have office hours when I will be in my office, available and ready to interact with students. I will respond to students promptly when they email, and will arrange one-to-one meetings when needed. I will give prompt feedback and be available to discuss the work with the students.
  1. My teaching will be student-centred. My teaching will focus on the needs of the students, with a high level of student choice, and with the power primarily with the student.
  1. I will encourage active learning. I will incorporate active learning strategies in my lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. I will include problem-solving, group work and technology-enhanced learning in my classes. My classes will encourage interaction, engagement and dialogue. I will engage with the real world, for example, through fieldtrips.
  1. My teaching will be relevant. I will put the material covered into context. I will highlight the relevance of my teaching to my students and to the wider world. I will demonstrate clearly in each class the importance of the material covered. I will ensure the students understand what they are doing and why. I will outline learning objectives at the start of each lecture.
  1. My teaching will be research-led. I will include the latest, most up-to-date research, both by myself and by colleagues, in my classes. I will demonstrate areas of current scientific interest and enquiry, and highlight unknowns.
  1. My teaching will be innovative. I will use innovative learning strategies in my classes, including technology-based learning. I will develop transferable skills in my classes, and attempt to make the students more active in acquiring knowledge and skills. I will develop innovative forms of assessment, making use of social media and online tools, such as the AntarcticGlaciers.org website.
  1. I will be a good teacher. I will be well prepared, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and punctual, and will continually focus on improving my communication skills. I will be respectful to my students, and will demand respect from them. I will communicate high expectations and will develop a supportive, trusting environment in which the students can learn. I will endeavour to make the material enjoyable, understandable, relevant and clear. I will respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

Here are some links about best practice in teaching that I have found helpful:

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