As an African American male professor at a large (predominately white) urban university, I am fully aware that to many students of color—especially African Americans—I am more than a professor. I am also a role model and a symbol of what others can do and become. While I do not seek this, I do understand that it is a reality and therefore, I owe it to others to serve faithfully in this call. This is why my teaching philosophy starts with the belief that all students are teachable and all students can learn. I come to the teaching situation expecting students not only to do well but also to enjoy the learning experience. While this does not happen all the time, I never stop believing this foundational premise. I find it makes me a better teacher when I think students are teachable and they want to learn. It forces me to spend time preparing classes and making sure that I am giving my best to students.
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