Why do I do what I do?

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My Teaching Philosophy
(or “Why do I do what I do?”)
Teaching History
How long have you taught?

What have you taught?

Where have you taught?

What kinds of students have you taught?

Why did you decide to teach?

Why did you decide to teach at Howard?

When I was young, I swore that I would never teach because that was one of the only professions open to my mother’s generation of African American women. Yet, after four years at Princeton University and a stint as a writer-editor for Time-Life Books, I decided that I needed to follow my grandfather’s call: “Get the best education you can and give it back to your community.” Giving back is what I’ve been trying to do for the last 22 years—20 years as a faculty member in Howard’s Department of English and 2 years as the director of its Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (CETLA). In the English department I taught undergraduates composition and linguistics, while directing the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program for the College of Arts & Sciences. However, at CETLA I teach not only WAC workshops for faculty but a variety of other workshops that show faculty how to enhance their teaching via technology, active learning strategies, and assessment techniques.

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