“Teaching in the new era ..”
I believe that teaching is an act of delivering and sharing information and knowledge to my students. I have my own philosophies explained as follows:
- I make my students understand the knowledge through the simplest way possible
Whenever I prepare and deliver teaching material, I will try my very best to make the subject being discuss to be understood in the simplest way. I believe that as a lecturer, it is my responsibility to deliver knowledge in a way that students will remember. If it is being delivered in a complicated and confusing way, no one would understand and it is going to be a waste of time spent in class. For example, if the theory to be taught to students is very subjective and difficult to understand, I will find examples that could help them understand the theory better. At the end of every class, I want my students to walk out of the door with new, well understood and clear knowledge.
- I facilitate and not dictate
During teaching and giving lectures, I did not dictate my students. I don’t believe in being a dictator kind of lecturer. I believe in being a facilitator who led them in finding knowledge. For example, during the first week of the semester, my students could suggest the type of projects and assignments that they feel interested to do. They also decide whether they prefer individual or group type of presentations and assignments. Nevertheless, they need to have a justification on the suggestions and selection that they made. Furthermore, to arrive to a solution of any activities, they need to think about the ways to achieve it themselves. They could use their own styles and materials which found related. I do not restrict them to only use certain approach or media to arrive at the solution. I let them explore any ways possible, with minimal supervision. With this kind of facilitation, students will usually present various possible ways to arrive at a solution. They also use their own creativity to present their final work. That makes the class presentation very colorful and interesting!
- I treat my students as matured learners
I treat all my students as matured learners. This means that I teach them to think and work as university students instead of school kids. For example, they have to think of a way to find solutions instead of waiting for the solution to be given by me. They also need to arrange any field trips, adjunct lectures, and presentation days and schedule themselves. Other than that, during lectures, I welcome open discussions. This means that students could ask questions at any point of time they feel important. I will also open a discussion session if there is an argument about the subject being taught. Whenever students have different school of taught, I will give them time (usually at the end of the class), to present their thoughts and arguments. The session is usually open to all students in my class who are interested to join. I am open to arguments and believe in the existence of different school of thoughts and philosophies. Therefore, I will always open to and appreciate different ideas. With this kind of style, I believe that my students will be ready for the working world, which demand for mature thinking, variety of skills and creativity.
- I teach and learn from them
I believe that I always learn a lot from my students. Most of the time, I learnt about the existences of new technologies from them. In this era, new technologies are difficult to catch up with. Therefore, I learnt about new things from them. Besides that, whenever my students feel that I might be wrong in some areas, they could tell me with respect and with justification. I sometimes do make mistakes (who don’t anyway), and it is good if they could pin point those errors. This shows that they are alert and understand the subject matter. As for me, it is good to learn from those mistakes and not to repeat them again in the future. I found that when I am creating this kind of environment, where both me and students learn together, it creates a more fruitful and meaningful session every time. For example, they become more excited to tell and share knowledge they know. This makes the class livelier, instead of it is just me who share. At the end of each class, it is not only them who learn, but it is also about me who learn a few things if not many.
- Give the best experience you could
I believe in giving my students the best experience whenever they register to my course. I want them to remember the course and enjoy it as much as I do when I teach them. Therefore, I always have try my best to make the teaching and learning experience as interesting as possible. For example, we do have free food after each big milestone achieved. This include after presentations, tests and exams. They also hold some special sessions with industry people that they admired most. This motivates them in many ways when an industrial icon come to visit and give inspiring talks. Other than that, whenever I am in class, I always share good and interesting experience, stories and news. It could be what I actually experienced or someone else’s. I also showed real evidences such as pictures and videos. I found that students get excited to know these past experiences and they would then try to relate to the topic being discussed.
- I believe in teaching good values
The class time are usually limited. As much as I can, I will try my best to teach and instill good values. The good values could be as simple as be punctual and respect each other. I believe that good values should be instilled and reminded all the times to this age group of students. Nevertheless, I found that by preaching about good values, they would not learnt much. Therefore, I always show them good examples, being good role model and give them short motivational talks that could inspire them towards good values. It is surprising to see that these students change towards accepting good values, through simple things that you do as an icon to them.