Erin Hoover


Teaching Philosophy

Over the past ten years, I have worked with a variety of students in numerous capacities.  One thing that has remained consistent in my teaching is my belief that a major part of my job is to help students work toward developing a sense of independence and pride.  Students are motivated by becoming aware of their strengths and developing their own goals. I don’t believe success should be measured by teachers, but by students themselves, and on their own terms.  A teacher’s work should therefore be to create an academic environment that promotes self-discovery and self-worth.  I continue to work on finding the right “formula” to make this work.

One thing that I try to maintain is holding students to a high standard based on their personal proficiency levels.  They must learn not only to meet my expectations, but to also create their own.  Earning something, whether it is a good grade, a compliment from a classmate, or the simple satisfaction of completing a task that seemed too difficult, is how students begin to feel proud of themselves.  It is the feeling of pride that pushes many struggling students to keep working.  They must own their accomplishments.

Another key factor in the “formula” is creating an atmosphere where students are encouraged to develop collaborative skills.  Students need many and various opportunities to work in pairs and groups.  They need to fully understand the responsibility of being depended upon by others. They need to develop their own processes for working together and teaching one another.  When students feel the importance and necessity of their contributions their sense of self-worth is augmented, and they are more likely to envision themselves reaching their goals.

For additional information on my work in the Fellows Program, please see my report on Using Academic Skill Videos with Newcomer English Language Learners.