Geography, as a discipline, is very broad and strives to understand the Earth as a whole. What drives me as a geography educator is helping students to start to understand the world around them. I like to bring in a global perspective to my courses, along with trying to connect the information locally; whether the course is human geography, or weather and climate, the concepts being covered can be seen in effect both locally and globally. I try to use local examples to help students understand a concept, and then broaden the example out to the rest of the planet. I see that this global connection, and having an understanding of the broader world is becoming increasingly important in our ever-shrinking global community. For my students, I believe that beginning to have an understanding of global systems and interfaces will greatly benefit them in whatever their chosen path.
Student success is very important to me. Seeing the light of understanding come across the face of a student as they work on a difficult concept is the reward which keeps me coming back every semester. As such, I work hard to help students to meet and exceed the rigor of my varied courses. I understand that different students learn in different ways. I try to bring different elements into my courses – lectures, hands-on/active exercises, technological explorations, and field exercises. I also try to vary my approach in describing phenomena to students; sometimes it might take three or more different ways of explaining a concept for a student to understand.