HOW I TEACH
I am an Assistant Professor of Practice at Habib University. For me the three most important values when I walk into a classroom as a teacher are humility, empathy, and excellence.
Humility is a value that I hold close to my heart when I am teaching students as well as when I am on the field making documentary films; hence when I am teaching documentary filmmaking in a classroom, I want my students to adopt this value for the rest of their professional lives and not just their lives at the university. When a teacher encourages humility, there is an understanding that no one knows everything, yet we are all gathered to abundantly share with each other what we already know. Additionally, what we do not already know is what we will end up questioning, investigating, and exploring together – also with humility.
For many students anywhere in the world, a classroom is sometimes the only safe space they have and so the classroom needs to be a space that is worthy of that trust. The one value I cannot absolutely function without is empathy. To seek understanding about the student, to know why they think and feel the way they think and feel is key for me as a teacher. When they feel heard and understood in the classroom, they venture out into the world as caring documentary filmmakers who in return make the people and communities whom they work with feel heard and understood.
Along with cultivating humility and building empathy, working towards excellence is a value that I deem very meaningful. I always strive to create a culture where everyone needs to give their best, and mediocrity is not an option. The goal is not to compete with others in the classroom but to compete with yourself.