I have taught a wide range of courses. In January 2014, I began to teach at the Centre for East Asian Studies at Renison University College, affiliated with University of Waterloo, where I have received 4.67, 4.78, 4.53, 4.36, 4.83 and 4.63 out of a total of 5, in student evaluations of the instructor’s overall performance.
The core belief in my teaching is the old saying, “Interest is the mother of learning.” I always present subjects in a suspenseful and entertaining way to arouse and maintain students’ interest. I normally raise questions that establish relevance to tangible daily context, clarify difficult topics, and then facilitate learning in an easier approach. I find that students always engage themselves more in learning when they have questions in their mind, particularly questions in a context with which they are familiar.
My attention to students on an individual basis has been one of my strengths especially demonstrated in my curriculum planning and interaction with students. For some classes, pre-enrolment placement can hardly ensure that all students are on the same starting level, let alone different learning styles and personalities that require occasional adjustments of the pacing of lectures and effective group forming to facilitate teaching and learning within small groups. Therefore, familiarity with each student is essential to my approach.
I am fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. I enjoy the challenge of teaching to diverse audiences. I have learned much from my students as well, and I strive to adapt both the style and content of my teaching material to reflect the diversity of my students. I have learned to create course syllabi that are more diverse in the material they cover. In teaching and organizing classes, seminars, and lectures, I have gained experiences and knowledge about different cultures, etiquettes, religious rules and taboos, and the collective features of an ethnic group, and have become increasingly adaptable to a wide range of student concerns with improved skills to communicate more effectively to diverse audiences.
I have constantly told my students of the emphasis on the value of critical scholarship over mechanically memorizing keynotes, regardless of the subject. The breadth and depth of knowledge make it possible for students to conduct critical scholarship, to develop innovations, and to demonstrate originality. Memorizing knowledge is essential but not the ultimate goal. Drawing inferences is one step further. Making constructive suggestions is even further. I have been gratified by some of my students who have been awarded due to excellence in their academic pursuit and creative performance. Over the years, I have begun to firmly believe that pedagogy and scholarship are allies rather than enemies in the academic enterprise.