From the Desk of: Dr. Mark "Doc" Palmere, Ph.D.
Founder, Space Voyage
I view teaching as an opportunity and privilege to serve society by helping my students develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become competent professionals and fulfilled people. In addition to embracing my core values, my teaching philosophy can be summarized in five points:
First, it is essential to have a high regard and respect for every individual. This includes understanding individual differences, learning styles and motivations that students bring as learners. I believe it is important to know the students you teach, knowing and pronouncing names correctly and showing insight by being proactive in offering multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency. I realize that my students are unique; they do not all learn at the same rate or in the same way. Patience leads to progress.
Second, I believe students benefit from clearly communicated expectations and fairness. Having a clearly outlined syllabus and having a blueprint of the evaluation process are keys for my students to do well and enjoy their educational journey. There is more than one way to demonstrate mastery of a topic and as much as possible, students should be accommodated. Accomodation leads to motivation.
Third, I believe the models of instruction including those of direct presentation through online learning are ever evolving. Developing competence with enthusiasm maximizes learning. Enthusiasm for a topic is contagious. I study 'best practices' in education and use them. I enjoy being creative in the classroom and in using technology to help me be more effective (e.g., interactive white boards, online systems such as Blackboard, class voting systems such as clickers, course web sites, podcasts and screencasts, computer projection and multiple monitors, tiled-posters and emerging printing technology, and, blended learning). Evolution leads to excellence.
Fourth, I believe each teacher should strive to be a consummate professional. This includes being a good role model, being optimistic, being on time and prepared for class, collaborating with peers and publishing, serving on committees and providing service to the community. Synergy is valued. I believe professional development and personal achievement are important to the renewal process and in continuing to become a more effective teacher-facilitator. Demonstrating leadership grows new leaders.
Fifth, as teacher-facilitator my methods need to be research based. By being a research scientist, I embrace the iterative nature of improvement through successive approximations, creating a paper trail of my efforts, applying quantitative and qualitative research methods, and publishing my findings. I will be data-driven, open-minded, and unbiased in all I do. I will keep my goals in mind across many years, For it is not so important as to where I started, then it is where I am when I finish. Global success comes from steady, local success.