I truly love teaching. I follow interdisciplinary and dialogic approach in teaching, structuring courses along this line. Thus, rather than solely lecturing, I strive to cultivate interactive environment and friendly atmosphere that enable students to freely express their thoughts and ideas. I frequently apply group work activities of various kinds and image-inspired exercises that develop students’ creativity. I use metaphorical cards in the beginning of a course for students to introduce themselves or in the end to provide feedback. I use visual collage as a form of summary of the course content. Collage was also successfully applied in the visual methods course for students to visualize the research process. I invite students for a debate on issues such as photojournalism is dead, or role-playing in groups when they become photo-editors for each others’ photographic work.
Teaching is a process of my own learning and self-reflective evaluation. As such, I aim to improve each following class, or course in response to students’ feedback and current needs. I also believe that diversity among my students can truly enrich the learning-teaching process. Thus, I encourage students to use their previous experience and cultural background as important resources in the learning process.
Furthermore, I strongly encourage students toward self-exploration of the subject I teach. Thus, my courses are never complete packages of knowledge. Instead, they are designed as points of departure for students who wish to learn basics and then get to know more, including own investigation. I believe that this is what the university is all about: a student meets a teacher who says or shows something interesting, and then everything depends on the student’s ability, interest and motivation. University should aim at creating open-minded and curious long-life learners. Such approach is, indeed, quite demanding, especially in contemporary instant reality, where everything is ready to take without much effort. Nevertheless, I believe that each human being has all that is needed to achieve what he/she wishes to. Everything is possible. The enthusiasm of learning is what I am constantly attempt to pass towards my students.
Pedagogical training received
(Advanced) University Pedagogical Studies II, 15 ECTS, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Certificate: 26 VI 2017.
- Curriculum Work.
- Guidance in University.
- Planning, Practice and Evaluation of Teaching II.
(Basic) University Pedagogical Studies I, 10 ECTS, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Certificate: 31 I 2016.
- Theoretical Foundations of University Teaching and Learning.
- Planning, Practice and Evaluation of Teaching I.
(Special) Pedagogical Studies: Teaching Academic Content through English (TACE), 10 ECTS, a one year pedagogical development programme, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Certificate: 13 V 2013.
Teaching feedback from students
In the course feedback forms that I have collected over the years, one of the open questions was: ‘What do you think is this instructor’s greatest strength?’ The students provided the following answers:
- I can see that she really likes the topic she’s talking and that’s encouraging.
- She really knows visual methods and she is truly interested in them.
- She is enthusiastic about her subject, which she shows and her participatory exercises were interesting.
- Her own interest in the topic; the knowledge of the subject.
- Explaining how you can see so much in a single image.
- Very clear way of telling about things and teaching; easy to follow.
- Well prepared before lecture.
- Creative with her teaching and assignments.
- Teaching with passion and keeping the course interesting.
- Very clear about what is expected from the students; always available to help.
- That teacher loves her work.
Thus, my students taught me that one of the most important skill that teacher should have is sharing passion for the subject that she teaches.
In my teaching, students enjoyed also:
- The free feeling I got during classes. I felt myself relaxed, but still had idea of getting to know new things.
- She has a huge knowledge about photography. She knows, what are the best methods for us to learn new things.
- She is a very nice teacher, listens to the students and knows how to make the course a bit more interesting.