My Teaching Philosophy
It usually happens towards the end of the semester. A student approaches me after class: “I was watching a movie this weekend with my friends – for fun – and suddenly I started analyzing and interpreting the movie.”
Ranked Excellent by Students (Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008)
Rhetoric 105: Intro to Composition
- Brandon, I feel, is an exceptional teacher. He encourages students to think for themselves, but helps explain when needed. (Spring 2008)
- I learned a lot and the teacher actually pushed us to be better writers and I think after this class I really have become one. (Spring 2008)
- I feel I have become better able to analyze material and view more clearly implicit meanings. I also feel that as a result my writing has improved. It was beneficial to use more unorthodox materials--like the horror films and graphic novel as sources for the course--it made it interesting and helped to put focus on writing. (Spring 2008)
- Brandon is probably one of the hardest graders you could find but at the same time, he provides you with the best chance to master the material. His teaching style is unique in that it goes beyond the typical, superficial. Individual meetings are always insightful. I have learned more in his class than in any previous english class. (Spring 2006)
- Explains things well, always available to help out his students and encourages us to do our best. (Spring 2007)
- I really enjoyed how much Brandon enjoyed what he was teaching. Brandon was flexible and allowed students to think and approach topics and never said they were wrong but always tried to understand. I really enjoyed this class. (Spring 2007)
- Great at explaining things in a number of ways and getting us to think outside the norm. (Spring 2007)
- Brandon really pushed me to become a better writer (Spring 2007)
- I found Brandon's Rhet 105 class very interesting. We watched horror films and critiqued them by looking at sexism, racism, femininity, gender roles, music, etc. I have improved my writing skills immensely and i definitely feel more prepared for future english classes or writing in the profession. I would encourage everyone to take his class! (Fall 2005)
English 120: Science Fiction (Spring 2008)
- This course was amazing. One of my favorite classes at the U of I.
- The instructor is passionate about the material and that carries over into discussion.
- The class was great. The open feel with discussion versus busy work was a big improvement over my other classes. The discussions offered insight I'd never considered.
- He does really well with Science Fiction even though it's not really his subject matter. He always is friendly with us and jumps in on conversations. Not a hard grader per se, but then again we've done mostly short stories so far. He has a way of taking our comments about the story then re-phrasing them to mean what we meant but better.
English 101: Introduction to Poetry (Fall 2006)
- I liked how we jumped into the reading and analyzing and learned how as we went. Without having the "history" about the poems and leading up to it. We've all done that in the past. And that's something you just memorize and forget. We went over memorable skills.
- The strucuture of the course material was different than most classes but in a good way. Most teachers start from the very begining and go to the end or select material they think is important or most popular (among society, etc). Through this structure, we were able to look at a wide range of poetry and decide what we thought of it.
- Everyone was able to get involved in the class, and you made the classroom a friendly environment.
- I like how we will say something about a poem and you expand on our thoughts and give us credit for what you said--it makes me want to participate.
- I had a negative opinion of poetry before this class, and you helped me feel more comfortable with it.