When I teach I consider my most important role to be facilitator-in-chief for students’ learning. By this I mean that an instructor does not pour knowledge into a student like pouring water into an empty vessel. Instead, I create an environment which encourages my students to challenge themselves and take charge of their own learning process. In this way I approach teaching much like a coach approaches mentoring; my job is to guide and challenge the students under my tutelage in order that they can succeed in the broadest way possible. No matter what course I am teaching, I strive to also focus on generalizable skills such as critical reading, thoughtful analysis and good writing that will empower my students in all of their future endeavors. To do this I eschew the traditional lecture format and instead incorporate strategies of learning through doing in several ways. During class time I make frequent use of small groups where students are required to work through problems in teams while I circulate around the room offering guidance and answering questions. This gives people an opportunity to struggle through difficult concepts while having the instructor present as a resource. In addition, I structure out of class work so that students gain experience in real research.