Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Teaching journalism involves modeling, coaching, and editing, with large dollops of encouragement thrown in. Deadlines help, as does empathy, because writing of any kind is hard work, even for the most talented students.
The writing I’m best known for is first-person and that approach also characterizes my teaching—whenever possible, I make things personal. If a student raises a question about ethics, I try to think of a time I have faced a similar predicament (and I invite other students to share their experiences). If a student has a source (or an editor) ghost them, I can draw on the long history of that happening to me. I always include some of my own material in the assigned writing because students complain when I don’t—and it lets me bring them close to the heart of my process.
I listen carefully but I also have my own point of view, and, without being too rigid, I work to explain to students why I believe my point of view is right. I’ve come to appreciate how much they value a carefully thought-out syllabus, a professor with experience and opinions, and a professor who believes it’s important that everyone try things out for themselves, even if the result is failure (about which I also have stories to tell!).