Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2014

Faculty Award winner

Jeff Biddle

 College of Education and Human Performance

 Educational and Human Sciences

My teaching philosophy is based on my desire to help my students be successful in the classroom, in the program, and most importantly, in life after graduation. I truly believe that "students do not care what you know until they know that you care." I try my best to learn the names of all of my students, find out what they hope to accomplish, and help them achieve their goals. My position involves much more than being just a teacher; it is about helping the students find their passion and then providing the best instruction possible to help them succeed.

In the Sport and Exercise Science program we tell our students that if they love what they do they will never "work" a day in their life. I provide an example of this by being passionate about my teaching. I bring an infectious excitement and energy to all my classes. When the students see that I believe in what I am teaching, it builds their interest and they enjoy coming to class. They know that I love what I do. Teaching is my dream job and I can't imagine doing anything else. When the proper classroom environment is created, students want to learn and can be challenged to achieve more than they thought they could.

As a constructivist, I believe learning must be scaffolded in order to help students understand and relate new knowledge to their life experiences. Following the revised Bloom's taxonomy, I focus on helping my students understand both factual and conceptual knowledge. This understanding allows them to construct new knowledge and improve their critical thinking skills by analyzing and applying what they have learned. To do this I engage my students by providing applicable stories in my lectures that allow the students to understand the lesson by relating it to their personal experiences. Only then will they become free thinkers and be able to apply what they have learned to the workplace.

In all of my classes I require students to make at least one presentation. I believe, to be successful in the job market, students must learn to present themselves well to others. Understanding that this is not a strength of most college students, I believe it is important to help them acquire public speaking skills to ensure their success in the workforce.

Learning is more than just sitting in a classroom listening to the "sage on the stage." Our program is focused on preparing students for a position in the industry. To accomplish this we spend many hours outside of the classroom visiting local sport and fitness related organizations. I introduce them to industry professionals, which gives the students first-hand knowledge of the types of positions available to them. My hope is that our students discover their passion and obtain their dream job when they graduate.