College Admissions Essay: The Art of Teaching

College Admissions Essay: The Art of Teaching
For me teaching means ?to draw out.? That is, to bring out knowledge students already possess in order to connect that knowledge with sociological themes and concepts. I believe that teaching has nothing to do with ?telling? students what to think, but ?showing? students how to think. It is in this showing that a teacher is fully human, and able to express a passion for learning. My goal is to work toward creating a learning environment that honors and accepts different types of people, and different kinds of learners. When I am successful, students will feel comfortable with what they know and with what they don?t know (which is the greater challenge). Laughter, joy, sorrow, solitude and delight are all emotions that I will welcome in my classroom. This is not to say these emotions should take the student off his or her bearing, because I believe disciplinary centeredness is what should steer the learning environment. Drawing out the connections between science and students? values and beliefs means that sociology is the center of my teaching philosophy.



What do I mean when I say sociology is the center of my teaching philosophy? Simply this ? sociological thinking can show students how to frame the world and their place in it, in a way that is freeing, fearless and full of hope for a better society. I have experienced this thinking, and I will try to teach students that they can be truely free by studying in a disciplined, organized and methodical way. That is to say, when students think critically about institutional arrangements, they are less bound by structural influences. Furthermore, I believe in being open and honest with students about the purposes, directions, demands and techniques that are used in the classroom.



Believing that teaching means ?to draw out? implies that good teaching can never be reduced to technique. Academic content may be delivered using directed in-class small group work, role-playing, lecture, videos, and off-campus activities. I also fully endorse experiential education, wilderness-based education, and service learning. My goal as a teacher will be for students to be more academically competent and independent, and personally more interdependent. Respecting and honoring the diversity of students? needs in their own education fosters such independence.

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