This is based on a document I wrote a few years ago, after having been nominated (by students) for the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award at FAU. I believe it is still current and relevant.
I chose to be a teacher more than 20 years ago, when I accepted an invitation from a former high-school teacher and applied for what would become my first job, teaching Electronics to high-school students in Brazil. Since then, I have had the privilege of interacting with thousands of students, from different levels – from high-school to graduate school – and disciplines – from Electrical Engineering to Computer Science –, in three different countries and languages. I am completely happy with my professional decision of becoming a teacher: I do what I like and I like what I do.
Along the past two decades I have taught a wide range of courses in the fields of Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Computer Engineering, to high-school, undergraduate and graduate students in three Brazilian institutions and one American university, FAU. I was also a visiting scholar at Universidad de Murcia (Cartagena, Spain). My students have always expressed their recognition of my teaching efforts with very positive evaluations, comments, and tokens of appreciation.
My teaching philosophy is based on the following guidelines:
- Friendly personal interaction. I make myself available to students, in and out of the classroom, and encourage a friendly relationship based on trust, civility, and mutual respect.
- Challenges and rewards. I believe students must be challenged and take special care in making sure that there is a good matching between the nature and size of the challenges, the skills required to meet them, and the rewards that await the students once they successfully complete their tasks.
- Current, engaging, and pragmatic approach to the subject matter. I take pride in using the most current resources (software tools, Web resources, textbooks, etc.) in my courses and constantly work on updating and renewing course materials. I make connections between the course topics and the “real world” as often as appropriate.
- Promoting and acknowledging progress. I encourage students to appreciate how much they have grown during the course and evaluate their performance with emphasis on the progress they have made rather than looking only at the final result of their exams.