Chris Douloff


Statement of Teaching Philosophy

I believe that learning takes place most readily in natural environments when our defenses are down and we lose all track of time. I believe that learning occurs when the teacher’s approach most closely matches the learning preference of each individual student and that learners more readily assume responsibility for their learning when they are involved in doing something personally meaningful, when they see the personal benefits that come from their hard work.

I have come to believe that one of the least productive ways to teach is to lecture to students. I believe, rather, that the role of a teacher is to help students connect with the material by whatever means the students have chosen. My role as a teacher and trainer is to provide my students with the resources and the guidance they need to most effectively take advantage of those resources. By engaging students in discussions and by guiding them, I can move away from the role of explainer and move into the role of enabler.

I want my students to enjoy learning. I want them to be confident and be able to apply what they have learned in new situations. I want them to recognize that they do have a “voice” and that what they have to say is important. I want them to respect and value the opinions and ideas of others. I want them to experience moments of clarity as often as possible. I want them to leave classes wondering where the time went.

I do my best to understand the needs and goals of each of my students and try to tailor my instruction to meet those needs. I strive to be a role model for my students and treat them with respect. I am generous when acknowledging their accomplishments and gentle when they fall short. I strive to be empathetic and understand the difficulties that they are having in and outside of the classroom. I strive to put forth my best effort on behalf of my students.

I try to infuse my teaching with the genuine interest and enthusiasm that I have for English language education. I try to keep the atmosphere in my classrooms warm and light, even when the material is challenging. I try to adhere to the schedule outlined in my course syllabus, but I am flexible and adapt my teaching whenever necessary. I encourage students to communicate with me often to discuss difficulties that they might be having. And most of all, I continue to learn about teaching and about the students.