My Approach to Teaching
Please do not hesitate to ask questions, or ask for help, in or out of class. (Unless there is a privacy issue at stake, in-class is often best, since your classmates may have the same questions or concerns that you do, and then you are helping them, too.
Ultimately, I believe that the quality of each student's education is largely dependent on his or her own efforts, attitudes,and behaviors. It is important for you to know that I will bend over backwards to help you IF I CAN SEE that you are putting forth the effort to do the work in this class.
Rule 1: You must learn something. Some of you may already have extensive experience in public speaking, that's good. Now try to develop new skills and push yourself. You must be willing to try.
Rule 2: You must have fun. Social psychologists tell us that the best way to develop our creativity is through play. In class (especially lectures) you need to play, or participate. We all have better things to do with our time than sit around looking unhappy. Participate, ask questions, give answers, and further discussions: these are all part of scholarly play. Creativity in performances will be rewarded in multiple ways.
Rule 3: "I don't know" is only going to be a correct answer one day (I will let you know which day that is), so don't give it. All I am looking for is your best guess. If you happen to know the answer, that's great. You might not know the answer, that's okay too, give me your thoughts. Education is not a passive activity; the only way you will learn is through an active thought process. Try to keep up on the readings and you will find you know more of the answers.