Teaching Philosophy and Policies
For me, being an
effective teacher means being a life-long learner. In the past year I
have been a student in Russian language classes at Moscow State University and
here in Spokane through Spokane Parks & Rec (many thanks to my generous and
patient teachers, Olga and Natalya, and my fellow students who have suffered my
middle-aged brain!!) I’ve practiced speaking Russian and Polish with
friends. I have explored the mandolin, poetry, theatre, fine arts, and
traditional Polish paper-cutting. Daily, I struggle to keep up with
technology with the best of them.
These experiences are profoundly humbling!! They remind me that learning new things requires incredible amounts of energy, persistence and organization. It’s a lonely road that offers me the refuge in the companionship of others.
That’s why I embrace the Ignatian principle of accompaniment, which means we are accompanying each other through this adventure of life and life-long learning. We simply cannot do it any other way.
In my vocation of teaching, I am accompanying my students on our shared journey of being and becoming curious, educated, at-times- expert, at-times-novice, empowered citizens of the world.
I expect students to take responsibility for their learning and to serve as companions to each other. This means doggedly pursuing information pertaining to our subjects of interest; asking challenging questions of oneself, of me and of one’s peers; and consistently contributing to the learning of others by being a responsible learner and good citizen of the classroom. Students and professor share the following roles: reader, listener, analyzer, challenger, debater, researcher, collaborator, writer, presenter.
I translate the above into this process:
see it, read it, write it, hear it, say it, hear it again, write it again, say it again, read some more about it, organize it and present it to others, i.e., share it.
Most of all: THINK, REFLECT, THINK SOME MORE. READ and READ SOME MORE.
Learn Thyself. That is, learn how you learn.
Attendance, Participation, and Tardiness
Students are expected to attend every class session, to read the works assigned, and to complete any other work appearing on the week-by-week course plan for that class session. If students read the materials closely, they should find it impossible not to have questions and other intellectual and emotional reactions to them!!
It is every student’s responsibility to seek clarification and to challenge the materials read for class.
Coming late, leaving early: we are all late sometimes. Don’t make it habit. If you are late or if you must leave early, please do so as inobtrusively as possible out of consideration for me and your classmates.
Late Work and Missed Exams
I accept late work and allow students to make-up missed exams on a case-by-case basis. Life happens. Wherever possible, make arrangements ahead of time if you have to miss class for extra-curricular activities, family responsibilities, medical treatment, etc.
Diversity and Non-Discrimination
affirms my faith-inspired commitment to an inclusive community where human
differences thrive within a campus community of equality, solidarity, and
common human nature. I seek to nourish difference in an environment
characterized by mutual respect and the sustainable creation of a campus
climate that attracts and retains community members from diverse
backgrounds. In this context, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, social
class, religion, culture, sexual orientations, language and other human
differences all contribute to the richness of our academic community
life. These differences grace us individually as human being and
collectively as a Jesuit, Catholic and humanistic university striving to
fulfill our Mission.
I aspire to create a university environment that is welcoming and accessible to all staff, faculty, students, and other members of the Gonzaga community regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
I do not intend to discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or any other non-merit factor in employment, educational program, or activities that it operates.
I need your help in attaining these goals. Please bring it to my attention if I have been insensitive.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Intimate Partner Violence or Gender-based Harassment