Why I Teach

Teaching and Coaching Philosophy

Rus VanWestervelt

I teach to empower individuals, giving them continuous opportunities to understand and own their learning. The content I teach serves a two-fold purpose: to provide stimulating material and concepts to individuals – with given opportunities to experience relevance and synthesize the two for greater meaning – and to provide metacognitive strategies that foster mindful learning, where individuals can see the personal benefits in applying these strategies in every aspect of their lives.

This is accomplished through journaling, relevant and critical reading and writing activities, collaborative discussions that focus as much on process (the writer) as they do on content (the reader), and an interactive practice of both formative and summative assessments.

I choose to see myself as a facilitator of learning; my courses are very student-centered, where ideas and original works are respected. Learners take risks with their thinking and with their writing. By doing this, they become confident, mindful individuals who are self-empowered to express themselves, communicate clearly and effectively, and have the patience and open-mindedness to consider the ideas of others.

I teach to empower, to inspire, to ignite lifelong learning.

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