(1) Teaching Philosophy and Goals My experiences as both a student and an instructor have taught me that teaching management courses (e.g. human resource management and organizational behavior) is not merely about transferring information to students. Rather, students are typically interested in the practical application of the information they learn. They want to have examples from personal experiences (of the instructor or their fellow students). They want to practice concepts learned in class through hands-on exercises. As such, I focus my teaching on the students. My student-centered teaching philosophy means that I am committed to improve each student’s personal and intellectual development.
Two essential conditions for effective teaching and active learning are the classroom environment and students’ motivation to learn. I believe that creating a professional and friendly environment in the classroom is crucial because it determines the attitudes of the students toward the class, their fellow students, and the instructor. An environment that encourages students to share their ideas and experiences creates a positive attitude and an engagement that is necessary for acquiring a good understanding of the material, and an ability to apply the acquired knowledge in a professional setting. I also believe that creating or increasing students’ motivation to learn is essential. Grades are not (and should not be) sufficient to motivate students. Instead, when students believe a certain topic is interesting and is directly applicable to their career, they become motivated to study and understand it.
In sum, my first and main goal is to create a professional and friendly environment in the classroom, one in which students are engaged, and in which they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences. My second goal is to encourage and motivate students not simply to study the topics, but more importantly to understand them. My third and final goal is to encourage students to apply the knowledge they acquire to their current and future work experiences, by engaging them in group discussions, individual and group exercises about the various topics covered in class.
(2) Teaching Methods and Techniques I employ a wide variety of teaching approaches and techniques. To create a professional environment in the classroom, I discuss the ideal environment with the students during the first couple of class periods. I encourage them to show up on time, be prepared, and respect the different opinions voiced in class. I also stress my willingness to assist them in any way, so that students feel comfortable coming to me with any issue.
Throughout my previous work experiences in the human capital and recruitment industry, I had opportunities to experience some of the topics that I cover in class. For example, I was responsible for a sales team in Asia, traveled relatively often to Asian countries (i.e., Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan), and was thus in contact with various cultures. With such experiences, I bring anecdotes and stories to the classroom, which I use to motivate my students. It also helps communicate my enthusiasm for the subject. In my classes, I rely heavily on real-life examples, hands-on exercises, and group discussions. I believe that those aspects are essential to encourage students to apply the knowledge they acquire to their current and future work experiences.
Finally, I believe that teaching is a continuous learning experience for the instructor as well. My teaching methods and techniques are continuously evolving (e.g., by adding new exercises and personal experiences). I also add variety to the classroom experience by using teaching methods that focus on different skills (e.g., cases, student presentations). I incorporate hands-on exercises and group discussions so that students get more involved with the various topics. For example, each student is in charge of selecting a new employee among various applicants for their mock organization, for which the preparation is a homework assignment followed by an in-class discussion. I also have group exercises in which students discuss and present in front of the class their solutions to reduce a surplus of employees (i.e., HR planning).
(3) Courses Taught and Teaching Interests So far, I have taught human resource management and organizational behavior at the undergraduate level. Although the human resource management and organizational behavior courses cover “traditional” topics such as recruitment and selection or motivation at work, I also introduced topics which have become crucial for modern organizations: international practices, policies, and the management of expatriates. Although I enjoy teaching organizational behavior and human resource management classes, I am also currently developing a Management Consulting Skills course, given the increasing demand for such skills in the workplace.