In my classroom, I aim to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and inclusive for everyone. Some of my core values involve self-reflection, highlighting transferable skills, and creating a space that is welcoming and inclusive. I encourage my students to reflect on their writing, writing habits, and personal growth, which allows them to gain a more comprehensive view of their writing process. When considering my classroom beliefs, I admire Adler-Kassner’s and Wardle’s concept of writing enacting and creating identities and ideologies. I find it beneficial to inspire students to explore their interests through both research and reflective writing. I agree with scholars, such as Taczak, that participating in self-reflective writing facilitates student growth within writing. Engagement in reflective writing allows students to have autonomy over their own learning and writing process.
I believe my role extends beyond teaching students how to produce better writing. One of my goals is to create an atmosphere that allows for all voices to be heard. Ultimately, I believe students can decide how they want to learn and should be in charge of their own learning process. I am a leader; it is not my job as a professor to tell students what to do but rather provide them with the necessary tools and guide them on how to achieve their goals. By creating an atmosphere that highlights and uplifts student voices, ideas, and experiences, students can choose how to pursue and challenge their writing and research interests.
Another key part of my classroom is experiential learning. The writing and learning process move well beyond the four walls of the classroom—and in the case of a global pandemic, the screen of a computer. I encourage students to draw connections between lessons we cover in class with experiences they face outside the classroom. Through major and low-stakes assignments, I urge students to work with topics they are curious about. During class discussion, I highlight places where lessons mirror issues they see on the news, social media, or in other classes. I want to challenge students to question what they already know and push them to examine topics or aspects from the writing process from a different perspective.
As a professor, I aim to create a classroom that allows all students to thrive. I pride myself in being accessible and open for students to come to with questions, concerns, or ideas. Moreover, writing and all aspects of the writing process, including research, discussion, brainstorming, and revising, are applicable outside the classroom, as well. I hope my students take what they learn in my class and apply those skills to future classes, assignments, and experiences outside academia.
I also partake in self-reflection. As a professor, I do not claim to know everything, and I understand I can learn a lot from my students. Similar to Neuhaus, I acknowledge that professors need to reflect and revisit their skills throughout their career. Being in the beginning of my teaching career, I know that seeking guidance through my students’ reflections and participating in my own reflections will allow me to better connect with my students and improve my classroom experience for both my students and myself. I look forward to gaining more experience and watching my teaching philosophy evolve and adapt to meet the needs of diverse students and classrooms.