Success has myriad meanings, but in an educational environment, a singular focus: students. Practitioners of pedagogy must support a scholar’s timely completion of a rigorous and relevant degree in preparation for a lifetime of anticipated achievement. The anonymous quote “success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do,” defines this dynamic.
I am inspired to embark on a journey of generative learning with my students. Generative learning links existing knowledge about a subject with emerging ideas, resulting in intense individual understanding. A generative learning approach asks students to actively engage material rather than passively listening to lectures.
Knowing relevancy is essential to discovery, I assign papers, presentations, and projects that provide a platform with which students can address personal or professional issues. I involve my students in interactive activities that challenge them to apply what they have learned. Seeking to stimulate my students, I intersperse anecdotes from my experience managing people, products, and projects and invite my students to do the same. My classrooms host lively conversations that bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Believing education should create community, not competition, I encourage my students to compete with themselves, not each other. I leverage technology to increase engagement, often mixing printed worksheets with online activities. Whenever possible I invite guest lecturers or coordinate field trips to contextualize comprehension. A strong supporter of student scholarship, I endeavor to identify suitable opportunities for students to contribute to research projects.
An educator who has taught in underserved areas of the United States and as an expat in the United Arab Emirates, I am adept at working in cross-cultural educational environments. Committed to my students’ confidence, I make myself available for advising; concerned with their comfort in class, I combine learning with laughter to always encourage them to take ownership of their educational experience.