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Teaching Philosophy for Carrie Leach

I am passionate about helping others work towards reaching their potential, selfactualizing, developing, building confidence and activating their voice. I believe learning is both
personal and interactive and view it as a loop that incorporates the past, infuses it with the
present that endeavors to inform the future. My aim is to create a connected learning
environment where students feel valued and respected in a space that is encouraging and
engaging.
By encouraging collaboration, communication, and participation it is my aim to facilitate
a connected learning experience that moves away from traditional knower-to-learner teaching
methods towards collective knowing. During the process I strive to broaden the lens through
which students view the world by moving beyond the textbook to hear and understand other
perspectives to help shape and evolve their own growth and thinking.
As a lifelong student my own learning strategies have evolved, as a result I strive to
accommodate all learning styles utilizing a variety of methods to engage and motivate students.
I value a variety of approaches to teaching and try to speak each persons unique learning
language whether reading-writer, kinesthetic, visual or auditory. Incorporating a variety of
approaches also allows for sustained interest as learners typically have a six to twenty minute
attention span depending on a variety of factors-retention increases as further methods are
incorporated. Mostly, I take a feminist approach to teaching that focuses on voice, inclusion, and
contribution to the learning community. By design, this approach is the antithesis of many
stifling experiences I have had in college classes and draws from those that have inspired me.
My personal and professional goals are aligned in pursuing constant growth and
avoidance of stagnation, intellectual or otherwise, as well as developing my own voice and
clearing the path for it to emerge-the same goals I impose on my students. By requiring
participation in and contribution to the learning environment students become responsible for

Teaching Philosophy for Carrie Leach

their own learning, which is mutually beneficial. By avoiding expert driven teaching and putting
students in passive positions of receiving knowledge and shifting to an active and interactive
approach students are called to action and challenged to think through responses and ideas while
building knowledge from multiple sources versus one voice.
It is my responsibility as an educator to create spaces and experiences that will prepare
students as they encounter the world, relationships, responsibilities, and academic challenges,
and help them manage information and ideas. An effectual approach includes sense making
through sharing, rehearsal, and application of material. Learning can be assessed through growth
of topic familiarity, explanation, summarization, and translating information into their own terms
in their own voice via written or orated exercises. By evaluating participation and thoughtful
contribution to the collective learning experience and assessing progress of knowledge and
approach I am able to recognize and assess their development.
I am committed to and energized by my own development and hope to motivate others to
embrace their own evolution and progression. As an extrovert I make sense of my own
experiences and the world through exchanges with others including critical and constructive
feedback. I remain open to and encourage feedback from others-which helps me realize my
strengths, but also to identify my own blind spots and illuminate the ways in which I can
improve and develop.
As a life long learner I constantly pursue opportunities for growth in a variety of areas
that will add to my teaching toolkit including technology, research, pedagogy, and mentoring via
research and developmental colloquia, workshops, volunteer experiences, programs, and courses
outside the University and my collegiate experience. I try to create learning spaces where each
voice is not only heard but also valued, and in that space I hope each person might develop the
confidence to use their voice.