I have a fascination for the field of criminal justice and a passion for education. I find teaching exciting because it affords me the opportunity to share my passion while continuing to participate in the learning process. As a teaching assistant or staff development facilitator, I find the interactions among students stimulating and I enjoy the challenges presented to me by students when they express their individual thoughts and questions. As a result of the challenges presented by students, I believe that teaching is essential to my personal and professional development. My dialectic approach incorporates theory; interactive educational elements and real world applications in a manner that seeks to stimulate students and inspire them to become passionate about their personal and professional development. It is my belief that when students are empowered, they are motivated to strive to their personal best professionally, personally and civically.
As criminal justice is an applied and a social science, the study of criminal justice incorporates principles from other social sciences such as psychology, sociology and political science. I find it beneficial to students to incorporate aspects of those disciplines to provide students with the skills necessary to view issues from the macro level in addition to the micro level. Having the ability to view issues from various perspectives increases a student’s preparedness for employment in a wide range of settings in or out of the criminal justice field.
In order to obtain a balance of theory, interactive educational elements, and real world applications with students, I utilize tools such as a standard text that covers a wide range of material from basic theory to relative modern issues in the criminal justice system and encourage discussions that apply textual concepts to current events and timely issues within the field. I present material in the form of interactive lectures that fosters student participation by allowing students to ask questions, challenge ideas and substantiate positions using information from lectures and readings. I also incorporate creative supplemental assignments that promote the use of critical thinking and analytical skills which go beyond the practice of memorizing and repeating information verbatim to the practical application of themes and concepts.
Proficient research, written and verbal communication skills are vital to any field of study or employment, students are given a number of written assignments that culminate into a research paper and a presentation of their research. Concepts that are reinforced in written and oral assignments are research, grammar, computer skills and public speaking. The aforementioned skills transcend the academic arena into the workforce and I feel they are vital to a student’s prolonged success.
In summary, I strive to provide students with an atmosphere that promotes personal, professional, and educational growth while encouraging students to think critically and analytically about criminal justice issues. I also make myself available outside of the classroom for advising and to address personal concerns pertaining to the comprehension of specific issues, assignments and concepts. I believe that it is important to be a resource for students wishing to pursue a career in the criminal justice field as well as students who take criminal justice classes for personal interest.