Philosophy By Betty Tsang
My academic background
: How motivation affects learning
When I was in
elementary and middle school, I earned the top grades, and was admitted
to the best university in Taiwan. However, I did not continue to study
hard because (1) the teaching style is either too difficult to
comprehend, or too boring to hold my attention. (2) I lost the drive
and motivation I had before. My motivation had now shifted toward
something different than simply achieving in school. I had new goals.
This was when I realized how important the word motivation is.
Why I chose to teach computer software
I went abroad to the
United States to pursue a graduate degree in computer science at the
University of North Texas. I found myself fascinated by this
high-demanding, high-tech, and brain-challenging major. By inputting
data you can get the outcome right away. I found its beauty in its logic
and predictable reduction. I met numerous brilliant instructors who
inspired me and encouraged me. I found my limit as a programmer when I
had to write new software to complete my Ph. D. degree. Though
challenged to my limits I never gave up. From my experience as a
teaching fellow during Ph.D. program, I gained confidence in my teaching
ability because of the wonderful and positive feedback I received from
my students. They told me that my materials made sense and that they
had no trouble following along from lesson to lessen. They started to
love computer programming, and gained confidence in their abilities as
encourages me to choose teaching computer as my first career choice
because I have tremendous interest in computer science and I love
teaching. Teaching is a good field that allows me to reach my full
Combining business and teaching
experience, I started my own business. I opened a private and vocational
computer training school. I made learning computer easier and more
comfortable by authoring a step-by-step, easy-to-understand workbooks in
English and my native language (Chinese). I enjoyed composing these
workbooks greatly. I would strive for perfection.
I put all my
knowledge, skills, energy and passion into my school. What I am most
happy about is being able to benefit the Chinese-American community,
especially senior citizens. Nowadays, knowing how to use a computer is a
must. The senior citizens are frustrated due to their slow pace and
language barrier, but at my school they found a patient and
understanding learning environment. My other students are frustrated
parents of tech savvy (but impatient) children. They appreciate my
understandable and professional manner of teaching. I get more pleasure
than they do by helping them. We always stay good long term friends.
That is the biggest reward for me.
Since software changes
so fast, I continuously keep up to date, and learned many aspects of
computer software all by myself. Furthermore, during my 20+ year career,
I have been involved in many industrial projects that allowed me to
practice and reinforce the software I just learned.
Preparation of learning
From my personal contact with students, students have to be
ready and have desire to learn. They should prepare themselves for the
Motivation of learning
When a student enroll in school and pay tuition, what is in
his mind for learning ? A degree? A good
grade? A good job? Gaining knowledge? For fun? Or For the sake of
A studentís purpose or goal is the motivation of learning. The
more motivated you are, the more efforts you will put in. If you are not
sure what is your motivation, please think about it and post it to
remind yourself every day.
You need to sustain on a course from beginning to the end
based on your motivation. It is a non-stop task. A determined mind is
the first essential factor for a successful learning processing.
Motivation is the key. I want to know, I
have to know, There must be some way I can get it. You need
to tell yourself every moment!
There are many ways to accomplish your goal based on your
You can read the
textbook over and over again. Taking notes is essential.
You can ask the
instructor again. ( I visited my professor two times a week during
his office hour to clarify all of my doubts. To my surprise, he welcomed
me so much and happily waited for me)
You can ask your
classmate who may understand more than you do. (For my first couple
of computer class, I did this a lot)
You can check the
library for more information. (If you are unable to understand by
your textbook, find another one)
You can do more online
You can do more exercise
on your own.
A student who gives up
when he is lost will never learn.
Time management is also very important for learning. Learning
is one of the difficult but also one of the most fun task. You must be
healthy, calm and not hungry or thirsty. The most important is you must
have time to learn. Out of 24 hours, how many hours should you save for
learning, study, review and memorization? What time is the best time for
you to learn, morning? or evening ? Where is the best place to study? At
home, at the library or with a friend? What environment is the best?
Quiet? Or with a bit of background noise with TV/music? You should find
out the answer and schedule the best time as your valuable study time.
Students learn maybe 15% of the material by listening or
reading, 85% from doing, but 200% from creating with what he has
Good qualities possessed
by a good teacher
From my teaching
experience at vocational college and my private school, I believe the
following ideas are important techniques I have incorporated into my
students motivated and helping them see the subject matter as exciting
clear picture of the objective of a course. Clarify the reason and
purpose to learn certain software application.
3) Paying attention to the progress
of each student, and to the greatest extent possible, meet the needs of
differently paced students.
4) Communicating and making myself
available as much as possible via office hours or e-mail.
5) Encouraging group interaction and
building friendships among peers.
6) Presenting material using various
teaching and learning strategies (i.e. lecturers, case studies,
hand-on-activities, group discussion, panels, and visual aids)
7) Teaching with expertise, passion,
patience and care
supportive climate. (practically and psychological)
growth and development regularly
I thoroughly enjoy teaching computer science because of the
cutting-edge nature of the computer technology industry. Because
application software and computer products are ever changing, it is
always new and exciting to learn of updates and innovations. Both the
teacher and student can evolve, share in the excitement, study the
mysterious and complex project and continue to grow and learn with each
other. Teaching fosters learning, and learning fosters teaching. It is
the most exciting work for me. I never feel tired or bored with teaching
computer science because I keep learning too.
My ultimate goal as an instructor is to make my lessons
easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand, and try to alleviate the
confusion as much as possible. My reward for teaching is seeing the
excitement on my student faces or hearing them yelling after they have
learned a new feature or a simplified technique. This aids their career
development and life quality by making the performance of certain tasks
or functions easy and efficient!