Each student comes to college at a unique stage in their life and learning journey. Some come right from high school, others with prior work or post-secondary education.
While curriculum and evaluation is set by program and course learning outcomes and essential employability skill measures, there is also an opportunity to help each student achieve success on their own terms. If a student leaves a course feeling more prepared, capable and confident than when they began, regardless of the grade achieved, this is a measure of success the student can celebrate.
As a teacher, I try to see each student as an individual first and then as a future professional. On the first day of class, I provide an introduction about me. And, I ask students to complete a survey to help me to give them better guidance in working toward their personal goals.
Teaching perspectives that has influenced my teaching philosophy are fairly equally balanced across the Pratt teaching perspectives continuum with the most dominant being Nurturing: (Click on the Philosophy PDF above for full analysis of Philosophy and application in the classroom).
- Nurturing: For me, this perspective comes from a belief students achieve best in a supportive environment defined by guidelines and expectations but tempered with empathy and flexibility for personal learning styles, goals and external forces.
There are five elements of invitational practice:
And five ‘P’s as well:
Invitational practice provides a framework for the nurturing approach to teaching by creating an inclusive learning environment.
Click HERE to view a reflection on invitational practice.
- Respect: For diversity of opinion, purpose and ability.
- Continuous learning: To model and encourage continuous improvement through scholarly practice; as a practitioner; and as a teacher. This includes contribution to the body of academic work advancing professionalism and ethical teaching and practice of communications.
- Caring: To meet each student where they are in their journey and help them achieve success as defined by their own abilities and goals.
- Innovation: Early adoption of technology to enhance teaching methodologies and classroom engagement.
Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, the Jump Start model (see In the Classroom section for more detail on these) and Invitational Classroom principles I seek to provide activities and resource materials that provide an engaging environment while meeting program and course learning outcomes.