Teacher Reflection

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In the opening chapters of my dissertation, I acknowledge the invaluable contribution of my mentors: my committee chair Jelena Subotic and committee members Charles Hankla and Andrew Wedeman. What made my mentors exemplary teachers was their devotion to their students and to their profession. In and outside the classroom my mentors helped me develop my ability to assess, create, and articulate ideas and think independently, which propelled my academic growth. They also developed strong curriculums with the knowledge to support it, set high academic standards, and built trust among their students. My mentors set an exceptional model for me to follow and thus shaped my pedagogical philosophy, which involves teaching my students to think independently, to respect intellectual diversity, and always be open to learn, while I uphold high academic standards in the classroom, never stop learning, and lead students by example. First, I believe all students should learn and leave the academic setting armed with the ability to think independently. Critical thinking is an invaluable skill which is necessary for success in a broad spectrum of occupations. Thus, a cornerstone of my teaching philosophy and personal teaching goal is to help students develop their critical thinking. The most important first step to help students acquire that skill is to create a positive learning environment by respecting and promoting intellectual diversity. This not only sets an example for students to

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