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Month: February 2016

Dear current and future creator, builder, developer, dreamer, problem solver, world changer

Dear current and future creator, builder, developer, dreamer, problem solver, world changer

Before I begin, there are a few things that you should know about me. I am quiet, goofy, kind, caring, shy, outgoing, creative, and bubbly. And I am an engineer. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and I am currently working on an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education. I want to improve the way engineering is taught and help to change the “chilly climate” that is synonymous with engineering. Engineering is not always a…

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Remembering my Teaching Future

Remembering my Teaching Future

My first experience teaching was about a year and a half ago. I started a new PhD program and started teaching at the same time. I was teaching the first year engineering course at Virginia Tech, and I was terrified. I thought I had to know everything. I was worried about talking for an hour and 15 minutes. I was worried about knowing the answers to every question. I was worried about being able to manage the classroom. But looking back on…

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Don’t judge me, Grades!

Don’t judge me, Grades!

I have a confession. I am very competitive. I want to be the best at everything I do. And in school, I care about my grades. A lot. I am trying to focus more on learning and expanding my horizons. But grades still loom over me. Judging me. An indication that I could do better, that I should do better. I keep having to remind myself that grades are not the end-all, be-all, that grades do not indicate my value. But the…

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Change in Perspective

Change in Perspective

Over the past year or two, it has been interesting to look at the university from a different perspective. When I was in my undergraduate program, I didn’t really think about the university as a whole and all the different parts that make up that whole. I saw the parts that impact me on a day-to-day basis. I took classes, I followed a very specific curriculum, and I got a piece of paper at the end when I graduated. I…

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Are there any questions?

Are there any questions?

Where do I begin? While reading Anti-teaching: Confronting the Crisis of Significance and the first two chapters of Ellen Langer’s Mindful Learning, I kept thinking about a book I recently read called In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms, by Brooks and Brooks. As described in this book, students construct their own understanding of the world and transform new information based on prior experiences. The book describes 5 principles of constructivist classrooms: Teachers pose problems that are relevant Teachers build…

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