Majid Maki Nayeri
My devotion to teaching as part of education process comes from my deep belief that education is one of the main solution to many problems around the globe. Higher education not only improves individuals’ life but also is beneficial to all society due to its externalities. This belief in profound effects of education in wellbeing of the societies is reflected in my current research paper which is on the effect of financial literacy on household fragility, where the empirical finding suggest that higher financial literacy lower the household default t rate and consequently financial fragility.
Over the course of my academic career I have had the opportunity to learn that teaching is more than a set of responsibilities, including asking questions, lecturing, assigning homework, and grading examinations, etc. I believe a significant portion of a teacher’s work in the classroom is mental and to create an environment where students are encouraged to express their own ideas and participate in their education experience. As an economics instructor, I always keep in mind that it is important to deliver a crucial point that everyone uses economics principles every day to make more or less critical decisions without noticing it and economics class aim to inform them about these useful principles and help people to make more inform and optimal decisions. Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
According to my experience as an instructor in university of Wisconsin there is no one way to teach and no one right method that will lead to effective instruction for all students and a good instructor should find the right blend of strategies given the courses and the students they are teaching. For example, in my basic economics courses such as principle of macroeconomics and statistics where more students are junior and are not familiar with basic concepts and principals, I prefer to use the chalk and talk type of lecture rather than teaching with technological tools. However, to avoid boringness in these class I occasionally use some relevant short videos, data tables and graphs. For instance, when I talk about inflation in macroeconomic class, to help students to grasp how high inflation could harm the economy and people, I play a short video about Germany hyperinflation from 1918 to 1924. On the other hand, in my money and banking class which consist of many financial terms and definitions and most students are senior with some pervious knowledge, I prefer to teach with technological tools such as PowerPoints. Besides, to raise the student interaction in this class, I ask student to present a financial term related to class topics such as home equity loans, bitcoin and credit default swap and encourage other student to ask questions and discuss about these topics.
Although I tried different methods given the type of students and courses, I always follow a same goal which is to draw out and develop the interest, understanding and critical thinking skills of my students. During each class I follow pre- planned steps to achieve these goals. First, I mention each session’s outlines. Second, I briefly explain pervious lecture and connect it to current lecture in order to have consistent and meaningful path of subjects. Finally, I start each topic with a sequence of related questions (if it’s applicable) and try to define the main concept based on student’s answers, then clearly and concisely present the main ideas and relevant definitions.
For each topic, I draw out my students’ interest in the course material through meaningful, tangible examples. These examples need not all be at the beginning of a class or before presenting an idea or definition. For example, while teaching statistics I use NFL or NBA data and encourage students to consider how statistics may vary by player position and verify this using the data. Finally, I develop my students’ understanding of the material by giving them opportunity to apply it in organized discussions, activities and exercises.
I believe an interactive and disciplined class environment requires instructor to be welcoming, fair and tough based on the situations. A welcoming and friendly relationship with students in classroom makes them comfortable to participate in class activities and express their opinions. ln all my classes I try to find mutual interests with students to talk about them briefly during or after class. for example, in my money and banking class, I asked students to watch a movie “The Big Shon” which is about financial crisis 2007-2008, and next session students eagerly listened to lecture about financial crises and asked many relevant questions. In order to further promote my relationship with Students, I make it clear that I am always available on request by email or in office hours. Fairness is another critical point to conduct a class and I tried to treat all students with absolute equality, regardless of age, gender, nationality, intellectual ability or personal attractiveness. Finally, I’m tough when it comes to student’s responsibilities such as homework and presentations because I believe, being responsible about their duties to their teacher and other students, make them ready for after college life as an employee and family member.
In past four years, I have been given an opportunity to teach a broad range of courses, including the principles of macroeconomics, money and banking, Economics of Personal finance and Economic statistics. I have been awarded prize for my performance as an instructor, the Holahan Prize for Outstanding Teaching in 20 I 8. However, I consider teaching to be an area of self-improvement. I collect feedback throughout the course and continuously evaluate my performance. I believe that my teaching philosophy and my commitment toward the students are aligned with the mission of your institution and I am well prepared to contribute towards creating a rich and stimulating learning environment for students at your university.
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