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“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.”

—Plutarch

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As an educator, I am passionate about the teaching and learning process, the promotion of teaching excellence, the design of innovative learning materials, and the development of service-learning program.

 

I have worked with culturally and linguistically diverse groups of students, since my teaching experience draws from teaching in Mexico and the United States. For this reason, I am also passionate about intercultural education as it promotes respect of diversity and the understanding of different people and cultures.

Teaching philosophy

 

In my teaching philosophy, I emphasize the importance of creating a student-centered learning environment that prioritizes skill development. I view the role of the teacher as that of a guide, leading students towards acquiring knowledge and honing their abilities. Central to this approach is the establishment of a safe classroom environment that upholds principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To put this philosophy into practice, I focus on three core objectives. Firstly, I aim to nurture problem-solving skills among my students. This involves presenting them with challenging problems or questions, guiding them in breaking these down into manageable parts, formulating hypotheses, and creatively solving them with a solid scientific foundation. 

Secondly, I emphasize the development of effective communication skills. I believe that presenting ideas, hypotheses, and analyses in a clear and organized manner is indicative of a deep understanding of the subject matter. Beyond clarity, I emphasize the importance of kindness, respect, and active listening when interacting with peers. 

Lastly, I underscore the significance of flexibility and adaptability, qualities often overlooked in academia's culture of perfectionism.

In conclusion, my journey from a second language teacher to a linguist has enriched my commitment to education and influenced my teaching philosophy. I recognize that this philosophy is an evolving process that can and should adapt to meet the evolving needs of both students and the educational landscape.

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Experience

I have instructed around 20 courses (Linguistics and English/Spanish as second language) and given guest lectures in different educational settings, including college level and children of different ages. I have also mentored first year P.hD. students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and designed and instructed workshops on wixárika linguistics and second language teaching.

 

I am currently co-advising (with Dr. Violeta Vázquez-Rojas from El Colegio de México) the Ph.D. student Mariana Isabel Reynosa Colín from Universidad Autónoma de México. Her dissertation is an overview on the Semantics and Morphosyntax of the Noun Phrase in the Wixárika spoken in Nayarit.

My pedagogical expertise has been recognized by obtaining the Certificate of college teaching offered by the University of Colorado at Boulder to provide training in undergraduate and graduate education.

Testimonials

“…Dra. Bierge has easily been the best Spanish teacher I have had. I could always ask her after class for help reviewing my quiz/homework grades and what I needed to do better. When I struggled on a certain subject I asked her if she could give me some extra exercises to help learn better, and she made them quickly and they were effective exercises for me to practice on. She also was easily reached by email if needed. She is an asset to this University…”

“…Thoroughly enjoyed the class, very engaging and helpful. I feel stronger about my Spanish skills after completing the course…”

“…Passionate about what she is teaching and lecture and activity that she is preparing for class is very helpful…”

…You were an excellent professor who demonstrated a strong knowledge of the course material, and I appreciate that you encouraged interaction from the students by asking plenty of questions. I wish we had had more time to explore the topics in depth, but there was a lot of material to cover and lecture times were so short. Your comments on project submissions and homeworks were also very helpful…”

…Stefanie was a great teacher and presenter. She made the material easy to understand…”

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