I believe teaching is a learned skill, something one has to actively practice in order to improve. As with any skill, goals are important for helping to refine and improve. When I think about my own teaching and reflect upon a semester of instruction, I ask myself:
- Have I helped students improve their studying? I have found that many students come to college without an understanding of how to study let alone their own metacognition. I try to both explain metacognitive techniques (distributed practice, self-testing, etc.) to students as well as incorporate them into the class. I want students to at least understand that simply coming to class and looking at their notes is not an effective way to engage learning material.
- Have I made the core concepts of class internalizable? Economics is above all else a discipline centered around understanding how individuals, societies, and governments make choices. Yet, to do this has become a highly abstract science. It is my goal to find a way to distill down these ideas into their purest and most relatable forms for students to be able to apply to their daily decision making.