Teaching Philosophy

First of all, I did not become a professor (or haven’t decided to be one) within one day. It was a process that started in the graduate school, where I was a teaching assistant for several years, while both teaching undergraduate laboratory classes and observing teaching methods of full-time faculty members. After my graduation I became an adjunct professor at the NYC College of Technology and later also a tutor at that college’s Student Learning Center. For me it was sort of a natural process to become a professor, since I was teaching students for so many years now and I have always really enjoyed that.

I believe all students should know the material
I strongly believe that it is very important to make sure that at the end of the semester all the students should know the material, no matter how strong their background is. Therefore, I do go through the material together with students, spending as much time on topics as it is necessary in order to get students familiar with it (often repeating critical subjects throughout a semester, to make sure that at the end of semester they still know how to solve problems covered throughout the course)

I believe in active learning
I believe that encouraging students to think and being active during the lecture makes the class meetings both more interesting (both for students and for myself) and helpful in understanding material covered. This way students are not simply told what they suppose to memorize, and how to pass the exams, but rather learn that they quite often can gather knowledge if only right questions are asked. I encourage them to ask themselves questions and trying to answer them. I really like students to believe that they do contribute to the course and are not just passive listeners

I believe that material taught should be relevant to students future careers
I think it is important to show students how to apply their general knowledge (acquired from their previous courses) towards more professional topics that I cover in class

– I like to challenge my students to go beyond the scope of the course
Especially while teaching laboratories, I have a great opportunity of showing to my students that the theory they learn can be supported experimentally. I always make it clear, that whatever results they are getting in the lab, should be supported by the literature/theory. However, if that does not happen, I sometimes feel it is even better. The reason is that if students are not getting “correct” results during their experiment (and I always pay a lot of attention how the experiments are carried out) I approach these students and start asking them questions, leading to a clear answer why something did not work out the way it was expected. This way I believe I teach my students to be more critical to their work, and definitely it helps them to start thinking in addition to simply following procedures.

I believe that a good professor should be accessible to students
I encourage my students to take advantage of my office hours and to ask me questions, whether in person or via email, to which I reply withing 24 hours.

I believe that it is important to help my students to build strong communication skills
I emphasize importance of good communication in all my students project, both theoretical and practical. In some of my courses I require students to present their work/research findings using PowerPoint in front of the classmates. After they present, students get my feedback on their work.

I like a feeling when my students acquire new skills
I really appreciate moments when I realize that students did indeed acquired new knowledge in my classes that will definitely help them in their professional career. Those moments feel like a real award for my teaching