Teaching Statement

  “Tell me and I forget.
Show me and I remember.
Involve me and I understand.”
A Chinese proverb

 

Teaching is one of the most rewarding and challenging professions. The main challenge is to successfully deliver the knowledge to students with different learning styles while efficiently managing the lecture time. In order to achieve this goal, one should create a healthy interactive environment that can accommodate students' diversity in an attractive way that also facilitates achieving the intended learning outcomes. In the meantime, I found its invaluable reward comes through unsolicited positive feedback from the students.

Generally, I believe that the ultimate goal of teaching is to help students discover methods for lifelong learning and develop the sense of responsibility to seek knowledge. These goals can be achieved by engaging the students in the learning process through asking questions, waiting for questions to be asked, and assigning numerous in-class activities that fit different learning styles. In my lecture preparation, I always plan to combine these methodologies with well-prepared material and exciting presentation, e.g. using relevant software or multimedia presentations. I personally find that involving the students creates a very healthy learning environment in which students can successfully understand fundamental concepts and subject learning outcomes will be automatically achieved.

I also find that practical experiences significantly improve the learning process and catch the attention of all students. Hence, I always plan to show hands on experience in the class whenever possible. For example, I usually present relevant software tools and system simulators that allow the students to have a better understanding of the course material. To further illustrate, in programming courses, it is very typical to develop code with the students to stress the introduced concepts. Similarly, it is not uncommon to use packet tracer and network simulation tools in computer networks. Designing assignments in which the students are asked to repeat or extend what they have seen is a complementary activity that improves the student perception. Such activities enable the students to establish a solid background of the material based on their exposure to the main concepts several times: once in lectures via examples, a second time while doing exercises, and a third time via a laboratory or an assignment.

In addition to technical skills, I try to allow my students to acquire other essential skills, such as team work, and written and oral communication skills, required for any successful career. Many of these skills can be gained through joint homework assignments, group term projects, and peer discussions. This type of work will help students to improve their ability to work in teams, learn from their peers, and develop an open mind to other suggestions and opinions. Additionally, developing their communication skills can be attained through oral and written presentations of term projects and carefully written homework. Such experiences provide the students with opportunities to practice especially at senior-level undergraduate and graduate courses. Last but not least, I always encourage the students to expand their boundaries and stay aware with advances outside their discipline. This awareness would help them to identify opportunities to apply their knowledge in different domains.

I believe that following the main lines presented above creates an enjoyable teaching environment that produces students with inquisitive minds, independent way of thinking, the courage to explore novel ideas, and the perseverance to overcome obstacles. In conclusion, I am confident that I can teach any core course such as computer networks, computer architecture, computer programming, circuits, math, probability and stochastic processes, and control theory.