Tom Pattillo’s Philosophy of Teaching

Posted on: May 4th, 2016 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

My primary mission is to insure that the course topics are not just covered but become an integral part of the students’ way of being. Each class is a continuation of this mission.

 

I must, therefore, learn as much as possible about my students; their strengths and weaknesses, culture, attitude towards learning and their perception of themselves as learners, potential graduates and citizens.

 

I must, as well, understand the goals, objectives, pedagogical orientation, teaching practices and teaching tools of my employer.

 

I believe and attempt to constantly live by the Carl Rogers Four Characteristics of an Effective Facilitator:

1) Congruent, 2) Prize, Accept and Trust, 3) Empathic Understanding,

4) Consistent visible and verbal demonstration of the first three

 

I create in every class an atmosphere of trust and confidence, allowing each student, at their own rate and skill level, to achieve their potential

 

I have high expectations for every student and, as befits my adult education orientation, “performance of the teacher is the only measure of success” consider every student a challenge. There are no “bad” or “problem” students in my classes, there are only students whom I have not yet found a way to engage, stimulate, and inspire a desire for learning.

 

I believe it is not enough to “know” something; students must be able to confidently express this learning in both written, verbal, and role-playing demonstration exercises.

 

I believe learning, to be effective, is holistic – engaging every student physically (behaviors), psychologically, socially and spiritually.

 

I believe that the best learning is achieved in an atmosphere of trust, caring and confidence and that every topic can be engaging, stimulating, “non-boring” and, within the context of effective learning, fun!

 

I believe that 75% of the class schedule can be prepared in advance and 25% of every class will be created in response to the needs of the day.

 

I believe in conducting teacher evaluations once a month, and after tabulating and analyzing the data, giving the summarized data back to the students.

 

I believe that 10% of education is given to students, 90% must be taken by students. I consider my students and I are adults working as a team to maximize the value of our learning time together.

 

I believe in the “mastery” of learning concept and work diligently and constantly to insure that all my students learn, understand, and can apply all they learned with me.

 

I believe I am a guide, a conductor, a coach, and a catalyst to help my students learn. I am not the primary giver of “knowledge” but rather a friend and guide who creates the atmosphere that encourages students to seek out, read, understand, and apply specific topic knowledge.

 

I believe in staying in touch with graduates of our specific courses and our institution as whole, and finding out what parts of their learning experience has been most beneficial and what needs to be more effective.

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