My Teaching Philosophy

Meeting the students where they are, and being an open book allows my work to come to life. Working tirelessly to create interesting lectures and lesson plans that are substantive, meaningful, and that facilitate student voice is what students can expect. Besides teaching foundations of oral communication courses, I have also taught public speaking, interpersonal communication, mass communication, media studies, effective listening, business communication, and interpersonal communication courses.


My classroom tends to be multicultural because students hail from various countries and regions, such as America, Bolivia, Cameroon, the Caribbean, China, Eastern Europe, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hungary, Iran, Liberia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Persia, the Philippines, Togo, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


I teach in order to appeal to the intellect, the humanity, the emotions, and the spirituality of my students (Delpit, 1995). Culturally responsive pedagogy reflects the core of my teaching method. Ladson-Billings (1995) described culturally responsive teaching as possessing major components that facilitate learning. Therefore, I facilitate an environment where students feel relaxed through storytelling, music, and dance. Essentially, they are more willing to learn and are engaged.


My teaching strategy involves maintaining the element of Sankofa in all that I am and hope to be. According to Kerenga (1993), “Sankofa is a symbol of knowledge, wisdom and my heritage.” The word SANKOFA is derived from the words of SAN (return), KO (go), FA (look, seek and take). This symbolizes the Akan’s quest for knowledge with the implication that the quest is based on critical examination, and intelligent and patient investigation. The symbol is based on a mythical bird that flies forwards with its head turned backwards. This reflects the Akan belief that the past serves as a guide for planning the future, or the wisdom in learning from the past in building the future.


References:

Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children: cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: The New Press.

Ladson-Billings, G., & Tate, W. (1995). Toward a critical race theory of education. Teachers College Record, 97(1), 47-67.

Karenga, M. (1993). Introduction to black studies. Los Angeles, CA: The University of Sankore Press.