Teaching

I believe that, ideally, how one teaches and what one thinks as a philosopher converge. Here are a few thumb rules I apply in teaching, and have seen work.

Many have been tragically hit by Covid-19. Both myself and my students of all ages have, to the best of my knowledge, been lucky to escape the pandemic. I learned how to use Google Classroom, I set up sundry institutional email inboxes, and profited from the University of Virginia’s limitless access to Zoom. For better or worse, within the span of two weeks, all my courses were back to normal. Not to impose on students, lectures are now shorter but I complement them with short online materials they need to go through. Attendance is optional, as is its length. Absent students catch up by writing homework. Most of them attend; the ones who don’t are glad to do the homework. All this has taught me that education is resilient, students want it, and I can be there to provide it.
Paying time and effort in excess

I tell students “my inbox never sleeps” and I typically answer their messages in one business day. I tell them “If you write it, I’ll read it” and keep my word.

Read more …
Handouts

A front-and-back handout to summarize the main points in the reading helps tremendously. We might not cover it all, because I would rather keep …

Read more …
Relying on take-home study

Teaching logic showed me students really get the hang of something when they can solve tough problems. I extend this to philosophy students …

Read more …
Go interdisciplinary

Inter-disciplinarity comes easy for me. And I think philosophy has a say here, and a social role. Science students are often struck by how even …

Read more …
Keeping students happy

I try to keep students relaxed and happy because, if they’re stressed (as they’re bound to often be), they can’t really follow the conversation.

Read more …

Additionally, here are four features of my growing teaching experience:

Scale

In Romania, I teach abundantly, at both college and high school levels, a total of over 700 students. This shows I can mix teaching and research …

Read more …
Student diversity

Two of the high schools I teach in (“Ştefan Odobleja” Theoretical High School and “Trajan” Theoretical High School) are located in poor neighborhoods …

Read more …
Teaching different programs

At the University of Bucharest, I teach several different courses. I am an Instructor of Record for Critical Thinking in the Psychology Department …

Read more …
Using a variety of teaching techniques

As an MA instructor at Georgia State, I regularly used the available online platform to assess student assignments, to receive feedback, and to monitor …

Read more …