Open Teaching Initiative, Teach@CUNY

Increasing Our Reach

Photo by Greg Westfall:

By Marino A. Mugayar-Baldocchi

I opened up my Personality and Individual Differences classroom (PSY3064) at Baruch College to Sandra from the English department and Ashley from the Industrial-Organizational Psychology department. When I was a first-year student, I always wondered how graduate instructors taught their classes, and about the process of teaching more generally, from syllabus construction, to rapport building and classroom management. I  looked for any opportunities to be exposed to examples before it was my turn to teach. Opening my classroom gave me the opportunity to increase my reach by helping first-time graduate instructors get some in vivo experience and ask questions from a fellow graduate instructor.

I loved opening my classroom, and my students seemed equally excited that there were visitors, or people who cared enough to come to our class in particular. My teaching philosophy is to show the students that they matter and that what they are learning will have an impact on their lives. Teaching a course, like personality psychology, that has so many practical applications affords me a great vehicle to equip students with skills beyond the classroom. I want the students to get to know each other as people, in a safe and harmonious environment, where they can exchange ideas and feel that there is more than just an obligation to come to class. The exercises they did, from class discussion, to think-pair-share and other small-group activities, are a reflection of my common objective with students and visitors alike: I want them to feel at home with one another and with learning about life through psychology.

Marino A. Mugayar-Baldocchi is a doctoral candidate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the Graduate Center.

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