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My Teaching Philosophy


“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled” -  Plutarch


Fortunately for me, my “fire” was ignited at a very early age and has been burning ever since. I was elated when my elementary teacher selected me to tutor the weaker students. My passion for science combined with the zeal to help my classmates developed the “teacher” in me. Since then, I have had many opportunities to develop my own insights into what it takes to make a good teacher.  


My goal is to kindle the fire of each student that enters the classroom. In order to do this, I have become a student myself. In addition to my continuous study of science, I have devoted a great deal of time and energy learning to be an effective teacher. I have learned how to create a positive learning environment by integrating research and practical experiences into my teaching through a wide range of standard teaching strategies. Incorporating inquiry based instruction using current headlines regarding a new vaccine trial or an emergent deadly disease not only stimulates intellectual curiosity but encourages my students to be genuinely interested in the learning process. Furthermore, I have made efforts to familiarize myself with cognitive scientific and learning strategies that will improve comprehension, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of content information. Student-centered modular approaches such as case studies and project based learning ameliorate scholarly productivity by introducing methodologies that make learning more effective and practical. Hence, I embrace discovery-based research and other strategies of active learning because they stimulate intellectual camaraderie, cooperative problem solving and lay the foundation for life-long collaborative learning.


Learning any academic subject inevitably requires some rote memorization of key concepts, but, as much as possible the teaching of any subject should stress analytical reasoning. This is important in classroom presentation, and especially in developing evaluation instruments. The “desire to decipher the unknown” premise or inquiry based teaching is a pedagogical approach that provokes students to explore academic content by asking, investigating, and answering questions. A true educator must foster the development of inquiry skills and the nurturing of inquiring attitudes that will enable their students to continue the quest for knowledge.


Just as my study of science is a lifelong process so too is my study of teaching. Through discussion with more experienced instructors and feed-back from students, my specific teaching strategies are evolving on a continuous basis. Attending educational workshops is integral to my professional growth as it has enabled me to learn innovative instructional approaches in didactic pedagogy by keeping current with the constantly shifting trends in education. My didactive experience has enabled me to author an introductory microbiology textbook that is informative and effective in conveying the basic principles in microbiology.


 Finally, I believe the role of a teacher is that of a leader to motivate, advise, encourage and lead by example. It is about opening hearts and minds and changing lives. The enthusiasm of a motivated teacher is contagious and rubs off on her students which stimulates their desire to learn. My success lies in seeing my students succeed and move on to higher levels of education. Hearing my former students speak about how my courses have helped them in professional and graduate school gives me a sense of accomplishment.  The rewards of this profession are immense, and I will continue trying to be the best teacher I could possibly be.