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My teaching philosophy is to set high standards, clearly tell my students what they need to
accomplish to achieve success, and then accept full responsibility for creating a classroom
environment that will force students to learn the necessary material. It is my responsibility as the
instructor to make the course relevant and interesting, and at the same time, ensure that students
learn the material by presenting it in unforgettable ways.
Hanging on my office wall is a treasured Charles Schulz original Peanuts cartoon. It states a
mathematical problem (taken from one of my books) and ends with the desperate cry of
Peppermint Patty: "ABANDON SHIP!" I keep this comic strip at eye level, and mind level, to
warn me of the limitations of abstract thought in mathematics. I can never walk into a class and
teach the material for the sake of the mathematician inside of me. I must constantly evaluate and
consider my student audience.
I do not believe that students learn by reasoning from the abstract
to the concrete, but rather they learn by relating common experiences and concrete examples,
which can be reinforced by presentation of the theory.
Graton, CA 95444