Learning is an interactive process in my classroom. I create an atmosphere where collaborative understanding is created between both student and teacher thus ensuring that the student and the teacher plan an important and equal role in education. In other words, all ideas are welcome and appraised, theory is balanced with practice, and students are challenged to achieve excellence.
Creating a diverse learning experience: In my classroom, students are encouraged to share their experiences and beliefs to further discussion about ideas presented, but they must be prepared to discuss the reasoning behind the beliefs or meaning of the experiences. All ideas, including those of the instructor, are subject to questioning. Thus, students gain new knowledge or strengthen previous knowledge by testing it against ideas presented and assessed during class discussion. I ask students not to attack someone’s beliefs and/or experiences solely on competing beliefs but on the academic merit of those beliefs and experiences. I want students to leave my class with a greater understanding of the world around them and to become better world citizens as well as more knowledgeable mass communicators. I have failed if students leave as they came.
Theory balanced with practice: In the study of mass communication, theory application is essential to the learning process. Practitioners in the field of mass communication must be armed with both theory and practice to be a productive part of the industry. As such, it is the obligation of a mass communication instructor to be thorough in the instruction of the latest in mass communication theory, while at the same time, find innovative ways to guide students in applying theory in a practical way. For example, it is not just enough for journalism students to be taught how to define an inverted pyramid. They must also master writing in an inverted pyramid style, know when to question its uses in today’s media climate, and create alternatives better suited to reaching their audience.
Challenge students to achieve excellence: In my classes, students are respected for individual differences in both learning styles and worldviews. I understand students achieve at different levels, and not all students strive for excellence. However, creating an environment where all who seek excellence can achieve it is my first priority. Some of the most memorable and successful academic endeavors are those that present a challenge and leave a lasting impression. My role as the instructor is to facilitate an environment where hard work is demanded and the means to achieve personal goals are provided through my own expertise in the field of mass communication.
I constantly strive to be a better teacher by assessing my methods and activities in the classroom to aid students in better understanding of the material. It is not enough for me to say I challenge students to become more critical thinkers, if I do not myself challenge my previous knowledge and evaluate it with an ever-changing worldview. Each year, semester, and week of class brings new challenges and opportunities to hone my skills as an instructor, but the rewards are great. Pursuing my research interests also inform my teaching methods and material through a sharpening of my critical thinking skills and a knowledge of current media trends. I see my role as an instructor as an opportunity to make an impression on the world and the future of our society. I teach in hopes that my students can pass on the ability to question the world around them, analyze and evaluate the knowledge they possess, and seek answers to meaningful questions.
University of Southern Mississippi School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Portfolio (teaching, research, service and professional)
- MCJ 102—Introduction to Media Writing (Fall 2014, Spring 2015)
- MCJ 210—Introduction to Social Media (Summer 2015)
- MCJ 300—Multimedia Storytelling (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Summer 2015)
- MCJ 303—Investigative Strategies (Fall 2014)
- Student evaluations
- MCJ102—Introduction to Media Writing (Spring 2014)
- MCJ 200—Introduction to Digital Production (Spring 2012-Summer 2014)
- Graduate teaching assistant, MCJ 200 Introduction to Digital Media Production (Fall 2011)
University of South Alabama
- Department of Continuing Education, Computer Applications Instructor. Courses consist of instruction in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 applications (Spring 2011 – Summer 2013)
- Graduate Assistant, Online Public Speaking, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama (Summer 2010 – Fall 2010)
- Graduate Assistant, Public Speaking, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama (Spring 2009 – Spring 2010)
Sample Syllabi for Possible Future Courses