I succeed as a teacher when the students in my class succeed. The students in my class succeed when they have met the following objectives:
Develop the tools to apply accounting and auditing concepts in a practical setting;
Understand the importance of the material and its relevance to their career;
Challenge themselves to grow academically and personally;
Feel comfortable in the classroom and enjoy the learning experience.
Develop the tools to apply accounting and auditing concepts in a practical setting
Accounting is an applied discipline, and auditing is a profession served by accountants. Therefore, I strive to make sure my students not only understand the basic technical concepts of auditing and accounting, but understand how these concepts apply in the real world. In other words, students must understand auditing at the theoretical level, but also the practical level. Examinations, class discussions, and cases that call on students to critically think about how the material they learn is deployed in practice help me to measure this objective.
Understand the importance of the material and its relevance to their career
Because I emphasize understanding and applying the material in a practical manner, it is crucial for students to appreciate how important the application of what they learn will be in their future endeavors. Using practical examples during lectures and relating the course material to my own professional experience as both an auditor (at KPMG, LLP) and as a corporate accountant (at the McDonald’s Corporation) helps my students understand the goals of the course and why it is important for them to meet the course objectives and advance their knowledge.
Challenge themselves to grow academically and personally
Most undergraduate students have only recently been living on their own, after nearly two decades of being closely watched over by parents and pre-college teachers. I challenge my students to become more mature and grow, both academically and personally. By using frequent assessments, I ask students to take responsibility for their own learning and to independently engage the material outside of class both before and after we discuss the material in the classroom. I also challenge the students to think about their personal growth, how the material will be used in their career, and to think about what they will actually do with their career. To promote this personal growth, I make a point to treat all my students not only as adults, but as I would treat coworkers in practice. I believe that maturing and growing as independent actors who take charge of their learning and their careers will help them succeed both in the classroom and in the real world.
Feel comfortable in the classroom and enjoy the learning experience
I do not believe that learning accounting needs to be a dry, boring, and painful experience. I aspire to make my classroom an open and relaxed environment in which students of all backgrounds and schools of thought feel at ease, are free to speak their mind, and can appreciate the importance of learning fundamental accounting and auditing concepts while still enjoying themselves. I create this atmosphere through my tone in the classroom, my enthusiasm for the material, and through the inclusion of anecdotes and current events within my lectures that not only illustrate the concepts at hand but also make them entertaining and engaging for the students. I use humor in my lecturing style to a reasonable extent, as I believe it is a critical ingredient for having an engaged audience. I believe these policies reflect empathy for my students and a desire for them to feel comfortable in the classroom and have a genuinely positive experience, leading to their ultimate success.