My philosophy of teaching centers around the importance of individual thought in making capable decisions in life. Education's goal should not be to turn out programmed citizens who regularly take their dose of the blue or red pill, but to enable citizens to determine their own futures independent of political or social pressure to conform. So, the overriding goal for me is to empower students to think independently about critical issues using historical and present fiction and non-fiction. But, education is so much more than learned skills and the ability to analyze or support ideas. As critical as those things are, education further gives us the power to enjoy life and experience self-determination. To that end, I intend for students to see our classroom as a safe, yet vigorously challenging place in which to FREELY exchange ideas and learn from others. In this way, they can be sure of their convictions and be bold enough to live them.
A secondary, yet no less essential goal, is the understanding and appreciation of language and literature as art and reflective of the genius of the human mind. Humans alone possess the ability to appreciate beauty and I consider the dismissal of that ability as a return to the primitives we once were. Therefore, I hope my enthusiasm for timeless works of literature transfers to students too.