Teaching does not begin with the classroom, nor does it begin with the student—teaching begins with a human. So often are young people given the label “student” and expected to be as such. This label ignores the other aspects of their lives—a student’s role is to engage their entire body in learning. The effective modern teacher cannot, and will not, ignore the needs of the people they are teaching inside and outside the classroom. My teaching philosophy believes in a paradigm where teaching doesn’t start and end at the bell, or at the designated class meet-times. I believe that teaching is a skill cultivated through intense learning and passion, and if you have the passion to teach, then you will make it work to be at service to your students at their need whenever and wherever.
My first collegiate teaching experience was working in an 8 a.m. Contemporary Musicianship class, a course geared towards Music Industry majors. Being a Composition/Music Theory major, the approach my teacher took in contrast to Performance majors was different. Assisting with this class taught me the delicate balance between person and professional relationships, the preparation that goes into each lesson, and the amount of energy that is required to maintain the attention of students. From this experience, I developed a sensitivity towards student’s emotional response to their teacher and that there is no “one size fits all” for teaching, each class is different from the next, and so should your teaching.
During this technologically advanced age, where much of the information taught in a classroom is at your fingertips, I believe that educators should question why students gather within classrooms to learn a subject. My preferred method of classroom teaching is through intense discussion-based activities and creative collaborations amongst peers to better understand a subject matter. I can’t help but smile when a student asks, “What would happen if we did this differently?” or “How does this subject connect to this one?” A subject isn’t fully learnt just by absorbing the words of the lecturer reading what written down, it needs to then be applied. I constantly strive for my students to ask the questions that paint a more detailed picture and apply what they’ve learned towards their goals and aspirations.
Outside of the classroom, I believe that students should be given opportunities to further solidify what they’ve learned, whether that be through tutoring labs, or open office hours. These individualized learning environments help cater to the student’s schedule and their willingness to learn—learning doesn’t begin and end at the class timeframe but should instead be a process that later cultivates a student’s curiosity and excitement with the subject.
Each student I teach is a new opportunity to learn something about them, myself, and the way I teach. Multiple this by the number of students taught throughout each year equals a constant re-evaluation and understanding of the knowledge you pass on to your students. No class will be the same from year to year, and I will not be the same educator. My focus as a teacher is to cultivate a welcoming classroom environment that encourages creativity and critical-thinking, and through my experiences I will constantly re-evaluate my teaching and its effectiveness.
Present) at Appalachian State University, Boone NC
Provide assistance to the students at Appalachian State University who are currently enrolled in music courses. My role ranges from helping students on composition assignments navigating DAWs or notation software, to providing assistance on music theory.
Music Performance- Concentration in Music Theory & Composition (Aug, 2018–now) from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
My hourly fee depends on the amount of content/lesson-planning I do outside of our normal time together