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Janardanan O. Uppot, Ph. D., P.E. - Teaching Philosophy

Janardanan O. Uppot, Ph. D., P.E. - Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is a noble profession.  It is an activity where you impart knowledge to your students, without you loosing anything.  In fact you gain by discussing the knowledge with your students.  Many a time I get new insights by looking from the point of view of my students. Thus you learn by teaching.

The most important thing in teaching is that you must be prepared. The students must know that you are the master of the subject.  That would mean not just delivering the subject matter from the text book, but adopting it to make it more interesting by practical examples, humor and making them think. You must capture their attention by your presentation of the subject. A professor may have all the knowledge on a topic, but if it is not delivered properly the students will not catch it.  I know if the students are with me when I am teaching just by looking at their faces.  They will ask questions. There will be discussions among them in the class.
After I teach a class, I come to my office and do an autopsy of my performance, so I can improve next time.  I treat each class as a live show where I must shine.

Make the students think.  I do not give everything away in the class.  That will be spoon feeding.  Hold something back.  Challenge them to figure it out. Weekly quizzes are the best way of making them think and get answers.

I teach from the point of view of practice.  I discuss real field problems in the class. I discuss several case histories pertaining to the topic being taught. 

My exams will contain easy to difficult questions. It will follow the normal distribution curve.  One of my exams will be modeled after the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam so it will serve as a practice for the FE exam which they have to take.

I go at least five minutes early to my class.  I return the graded assignments on time and discuss them in the class.  When giving back the exams, I write the whole range of scores on the board so that the students will know where they stand.

I use overhead transparencies taken from the text book and from other sources.  If taken from other sources, I give the students copies of the transparencies.

In solving problems, hand calculations come first for me. Use of computer programs comes later.

I am always available for the students, not just during my posted office hours. I take  a real interest in their learning process and always go out of my way to help them.  I make sure that when they take a course from me they learn something.  I always tell that if they like my course, tell others and if they don't, tell me.