Exploring Education with Elizabeth Zemanski By: Aubrey Klink.
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Exploring Education with Elizabeth Zemanski By: Aubrey Klink
“As a girl, I always loved to write” Where it began Elizabeth always found great comfort with writing. Her mother always offered to supply an endless amount of journals for her as long as she was able to fill them. This sparked the passion for writing.
The Inspiration For Elizabeth, she had a teacher in high school that allowed her to develop her writing style significantly. This led to her discovering that she wanted to be a teacher and that she had a style of teaching all her own. For me, I also had a teacher in high school that challenged me to always to do my best. To this day I use the writing tips he suggested to improve my writing and my own thoughts on teaching the subject.
Break it down now Elizabeth’s teaching philosophy stems from one basic principle. Success “As an instructor, my goal is to provide students with the knowledge and tools to sharpen their critical thinking skills to succeed in their academic courses and in their own personal and professional lives.”
But How? Elizabeth sticks with a few basic principles to get this accomplished ◦ Structure ◦ Rapport ◦ Community ◦ Resources
Structure Elizabeth makes sure that her classes are structured so that students are not held back by confusion of the course. She uses a well-organized syllabus and a few simple but strict classroom guidelines to allow students to focus in on the important content. As a student of Elizabeth’s I always appreciated this structure. It made me feel like the class actually meant something instead of just a pre-req to get into the classes I needed.
Rapport “In addition, providing a structured learning environment while maintaining an atmosphere where students feel comfortable to engage in the learning process is also important; I do believe developing rapport with the students highly facilitates learning.” Again this rapport is what makes students feel comfortable and open with Elizabeth. She allows a friendly realtionship so that when she does need to critique a paper students feel confident still. This is something that I aspire to have in my classroom as a teacher.
Community While Elizabeth understands the importance of autonomy, she feels that a sense of community in her classroom is more important. “Students should feel confident in holding a discussion in class then writing about that topic in a paper”. The idea of a free flowing environment is what allows students to really open up and write quality papers. This is another quality of Elizabeth’s classroom that I wish to aspire to. Having free flowing conversations about an article that we read always helped me learn as a students and is something that I hope to achieve as a teacher.
Resources Elizabeth makes an interesting point when she says not every student will like her and it is important to hook them up with other resources to help further their education. Sometimes students will take constructive criticism harsher than others about because of this will have a bad taste in their mouth of a particular teacher. Just because this happens doesn’t mean the learning should stop. As a teacher it is your responsibility to find an outlet for that student. This is a super intriguing point that Elizabeth makes. I never thought of additional resources I could use to reach a student besides myself. Of course I knew to point them in the right direction of books or other things to help them with their writing however, I never thought to hook them up with another teacher or resource that they would better work with.
What Elizabeth Taught Me Teaching is all about the student in more ways than I thought. Elizabeth explained that it is important to step back and really analyze what the student needs and then finding a way to provide for that student even if it means you wont be needed.
Things That I Still Believe Elizabeth reinforced the fact that I need to have a joyous and friendly classroom or else students won’t find comfort in my grading and my environment Also she talked a lot about the importance of community as writers and that is something we have continually talked about in class this semester.