"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." -Henry B. Adams-
The future of our society rests within the hands of our children. With this in mind, I do not take my responsibility as a teacher, instructor or professor lightly. Rather as I teach these courses I attempt to transcend the assignments of the classroom into the requirements and expectations of society. Thus, when I am in the classroom, I hope to accomplish a series of goals that demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen while respecting others’ opinions. While doing this I aim to create an engaged learning atmosphere and instruct in an entertaining and enlightening manner. In order to accomplish these goals, I use real, contemporary examples to illustrate key points of my lectures alongside with assignments that compel students to engage the world’s challenges they encounter both inside and outside of the classroom. I believe that this responsibility of properly educating future leaders carries with it a heavy task of being knowledgeable in the field of rhetoric and communication. However, while it is important to examine the present, and look towards the future, I believe it is equally important to examine the past. Understanding the past is key for a thriving democracy. Through our examinations of the past we can not only understand what we have accomplished and why, but more importantly what mistakes were made and how we can prevent their reoccurrence. Thus, the past serves both a literal and symbolic purpose within our culture
In every class I teach, we discuss not only the source of rhetorical theory and its many purposes, but also its place within society today. An assignment that illustrates this ideal includes studying Aristotle’s Rhetoric, as the ideology and theory within it can be demonstrated not only within Public Speaking courses but also in Interpersonal and Political Communication, as well as in various other disciplines these students may be engaged in. To further reinforce this knowledge, I utilize multiple contemporary examples such as political speeches, television advertisements, music and other forms of media that have the ability to influence and persuade the students’ everyday behavior. This creates a learning environment that encourages the students to connect the terminology and theory of rhetoric of today with its origins in the past.
My role as teacher is not limited to the classroom alone just as our students’ lives are not limited to a university. As a teacher, I desire to assist my students in their endeavors and attempt to do so in various services and capacities not only at the University, but with the community as well. With this mindset I have found myself assisting students seeking various services to improve their quality of life, participating in community revitalization projects and participating in local forms of debate and democracy that promote discourse. In my career I have found that my capacity as teacher to assist the leaders of our future far exceeds the pedagogical space within the University.
While my philosophy and ideology may be simplistic for a complicated world, I cannot help but feel that every day I teach, I am helping build a better society. By analyzing and understanding the past and connecting it with today, my hope is that my students will foster a better understanding of communication and its purposes not only within their personal lives and careers, but also its role within their civic duties and society as well.