Professors make learning fun

The motto for Florida A&M University is “Excellence With Caring,” and students seem to agree that the professors are good at their jobs.

However, being a teacher is sometimes challenging. Professors have to find ways to educate as well as engage.

Jacqueline Okoh, who teaches freshman orientation, said she keeps her students involved in the course with creative methods.

Okoh, who also serves as the engineering adviser for the freshman and sophomore experience program at FAMU, said she knows that her students may not take her class as seriously as other courses like biology or economics.

However, she said she keeps her class interesting so her students do not get bored.

“[The work] relates to them in their everyday life,” she said. “[I like to] make their class fun and keep them engaged.”

Okoh said she usually has a discussion amongst the students followed by class participation.

She also said she gives points for participation and feels students take part in the lesson and learning by interacting with each other.

The same can be said about Byron Pack, an adjunct psychology teacher who has been teaching at FAMU for the past six years.

He said three words help to keep his students interested-experience, personalization and interaction.

Pack said he awards extra credit points to students based on in-class discussions. From there he asks questions to his students to get them to personalize and internalize the lesson.

“Each student who decides to share their own personal experiences unknowingly in turn teaches the other students,” he said.

Pack said the interaction he has with his students is fun.

“It’s almost like a stand up comedy routine,” he said.

Nicole Watson, 19, a student in Pack’s class agrees with his philosophy and said she enjoys his teaching style. She also said she finds it a bit hard to participate in other classes when the teachers are boring.

“It’s hard to participate in class lessons when teachers just read from the book and don’t do any outside examples,” said Watson, a second year pre-med biology student from Queens, N.Y., .

Watson said chemistry is one of the classes that she has struggled to take part in.

“When the teacher doesn’t want to take the time to actually teach the lesson, I find it hard to actually want to learn the material,” she said.

Other students agreed.

Some professors said they have heard complaints but Pack said if they learn to have fun while teaching, they would be just fine.

“If you enjoy your job then the students will want to learn and see what you have to offer,” he said. “If you act and believe what you’re talking about, then the students are more willing to learn.”