Teaching Philosophy

"We overthink about effective methods of teaching and not enough about effective methods of learning" ~ John Carlos Jr.

          This statement is the crux of my teaching and directorial approach in the classroom and on stage. I believe that we are here to serve the student, which begins and ends with how they learn. Too often, we get lost in our teaching process without assessing what is best for the student.  The overall goal is the students' success, so we should start with their interests in mind. 

            I knew early on that I always wanted to teach at the college level. I wanted to work alongside young professionals making discoveries and sharing in their educational journey. I take pride in knowing that teaching is a skill, and teaching theatre is a practical application of a craft, whether onstage, backstage, or in front of the house. I am trusted to guide my students with honest assessments of their work, which means I always choose my words carefully to give only constructive feedback and never criticize. Any criticism that is not constructive and measurable could mean losing progress with a student or a cast since you are attacking and not guiding.  

            Every day, students challenge me how I think and approach the same subject material I have been studying and practicing for over twenty years because they still find something new every time. That was my eureka moment in teaching: accepting that fresh eyes can always find new gems of knowledge in the material I have presented time and time again. I ask open-ended questions to allow the students to find their answers or more deeply explore the problem.

This statement is the crux of my teaching and directorial approach in the classroom and on stage. I believe that we are here to serve the student, which begins and ends with how they learn. Too often, we get lost in our teaching process without assessing what is best for the student.  The overall goal is the students' success, so we should start with their interests in mind. 

            I knew early on that I always wanted to teach at the college level. I wanted to work alongside young professionals making discoveries and sharing in their educational journey. I take pride in knowing that teaching is a skill, and teaching theatre is a practical application of a craft, whether onstage, backstage, or in front of the house. I am trusted to guide my students with honest assessments of their work, which means I always choose my words carefully to give only constructive feedback and never criticize. Any criticism that is not constructive and measurable could mean losing progress with a student or a cast since you are attacking and not guiding.  

            Every day, students challenge me how I think and approach the same subject material I have been studying and practicing for over twenty years because they still find something new every time. That was my eureka moment in teaching: accepting that fresh eyes can always find new gems of knowledge in the material I have presented time and time again. I ask open-ended questions to allow the students to find their answers or more deeply explore the problem.

© 2020 by Dallas Pollei