Teaching Philosophy

I believe in entertainment education.
Learning is more likely to occur if it is enjoyable.  Likewise, effective teaching is more likely to occur if it is enjoyable.  In my classes, I try to provide a fun, energetic, and inviting atmosphere.  To accomplish this, I experiment with new activities, assignments, and lecture methods.  Occasionally, I will "perform" in class.  My students seem to enjoy this and, personally, it is fun!  I cannot guarantee that you will leave every class meeting laughing uncontrollably.  But I am proud of my reputation of being a professor who teaches classes that students enjoy taking.

I believe students need to be challenged beyond their individual comfort zones.
Productive citizens to our communities are created when individuals do more than simply perform what is minimally required when engaging in courses they take and/or activities in which they participate.  I take an incremental approach in my classes.  Students will have accomplished more than they had originally thought possible, but that will happen gradually as the semester progresses.  My activities and assignments are challenging.  They may even seem intimidating at first.  But I have a strong track record of retaining students until the end of each semester and, overwhelmingly, my students have appreciated being challenged beyond their individual comfort zones.

I believe students need to learn and experience accountability.
Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is willing to take ownership in these mistakes.  There is a misconception that the "real world" is somehow separate from the classroom.  This belief, unfortunately, reinforces students into repeating behaviors that fail to prepare them for life after college.  In my classes, I clearly review--and consistently enforce--common policies regarding the completion of assignments, plagiarism (including self-plagiarism), attendance, etc.  Many students follow these policies very well.  A few, however, "learn the hard way."  I believe that no student is done any favor when standards are set low and/or policies are not consistently enforced.  I want my students to succeed while attending MJC and after leaving the college.  The "tough love" approach serves this purpose.