Math 241 - Probability and Statistics
Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 - 7:45pm
Office Hour - Thursday from 4:15pm - 5:15pm in the Adjunct Office
Math 142 - Calculus Integration
Meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00pm - 9:15pm
Office Hour - Thursday from 5:15pm - 6:15pm in the Adjunct Office
While working on my PhD at the Graduate Center, I had the opportunity and privilege to continue teaching. Over the last 12+ consecutive years I have been an adjunct lecturer at Queens College and have taught 16 different mathematics courses. I have also been a teacher at Baruch College for high school students, an SAT prep instructor for high school students, a tutor for elementary school, junior high, high school, and college students, a teaching assistant, and a tutor for Queens College. In the first section of my teaching statement, I talk about my philosophy as an educator, and in the following sections discuss how technology in the classroom enriched student learning, and about the positive reviews received.
Mathematics is a subject that most people find hard or impossible to learn. I strongly believe however that inside each and every one of us is the ability to learn and understand any and all mathematics. My job as an educator then is to get my students to see what they can already do. With hard work and persistence, going one simple step at a time, all of mathematics is reachable to everyone. All it takes to learn mathematics is to practice it.
My job as a teacher is to build their knowledge in mathematics. The best way for students to learn ideas and concepts that are foreign to them is by doing problems and seeing examples. They need to explore the subject on their own, be challenged, and find solutions without being given them. My students are given many problems to work on, as well as provided a multitude of relevant and illuminating examples. If they are stuck on a problem or are having trouble getting answers, I am accessible by email and during weekly office hours.
One of the ways I have improved as a teacher is by becoming better prepared and well organized. Before the semester even starts, lessons have already been prepared and an online website set up for students to access course materials and practice exams. Also available are homework assignments, online videos, study sheets, course information, a syllabus, and a clear plan for how the course will run. Each semester has improvements on the course website that makes it easily navigable and at the same time has many resources to help students succeed in the course they are taking. Carefully planned videos were recorded and posted by myself that teach the students how to use the class website. On YouTube, students can go to playlists for courses I taught online in the past, and have entire semester’s worth of videos. The more resources that are available to students, the more they can get out of my courses. The more organized I am in giving students these resources, the more likely they are to use them.
To improve the education of my students they must see that mathematics is not about formulas or calculations. It is about constructing theorems and proofs. They should see and appreciate just how beautiful mathematics is.
One of my strengths as a teacher is the great many different courses I have already taught at Queens College which cover a wide array of topics. My teaching experience includes teaching courses from precalculus to linear algebra to probability. It also includes a masters course in problem solving. It was given to me by the former Chairman of the math department at Queens College and former teacher of mine Professor Goldberg when we were talking about my plan to apply to PhD programs. Currently, I am also teaching high school students at Baruch College to prepare them for college precalculus. One of them thanked me for helping him get into his dream colleges.
Using technology in my courses has been a great way to enrich student learning. The websites Blackboard and Google Classroom both allow my course materials to be easily accessible to students throughout the semester. During the pandemic, my YouTube teaching channel, Michael Pandazis, provided video lessons for virtual courses. Now, even though the classes have returned to being in-person, the videos are still helping current students who want to see topics explained again at home. The YouTube channel currently consists of over 200 teaching videos and has over 15,000 total views. In addition, using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra was a great way to give online individual assistance to students who needed it before classes went back to being in-person. Homework websites such as WebAssign were very useful for my Discrete Mathematics and Calculus courses. They provided students with a multitude of examples which helped them understand the subject matter. Power-point presentations and whiteboards were also used to provide students with lessons other than chalk board ones.
I have received excellent reviews from both my students and professors at Queens College. My students have told me many times that one of my strengths is my ability to explain and simplify very difficult concepts. It is a thrill to see after helping a student who does not understand a mathematical concept at all, in a matter of minutes then does. A recent example of this was when, after class in my Differential Calculus course, a student told me he was thinking of changing majors because he did not understand integrals at all. I explained to him how it was just a matter of finding the areas of rectangles, and then building on that to get the limit of a sum of areas of approximating rectangles. Going step by step, very quickly I saw that he was understanding what I was saying. Students have said that I am a caring teacher, who is always there for them when they need help. If they get COVID or have other real life problems, they are given makeup exams so that they can still succeed in the course and in college. They have also complimented me for grading exams right away.
As shown in this statement, my teaching experience is diverse. The Bachelors and Masters obtained at Queens College, my Masters in Philosophy at the Graduate Center, and my journey towards a PhD at the Graduate Center, all give me a vast amount of knowledge which I impart to my students every semester. I work hard to be accessible to my students and to help them if they are in need of it. My 12+ years of teaching have given many people a better appreciation for the beauty of mathematics. One of my plans for the future is to continue to grow as an educator, and help motivated and talented students to become mathematicians.