I've taught Introductory Psychology, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and guest lectured in several undergraduate and graduate courses.
Teaching has been one of my favorite experiences both a grad student and as a post-doctoral fellow. I pursued a doctorate as much to teach as to practice. When I was in undergrad I had some inspiring professors who not only turned me on to psychology, but made me excited about science, helped me believe in myself, and fostered my love of lifelong learning.
That's what I strive for every time I step into the classroom. I slave over my syllabus, slides, and demonstrations because I feel a duty to give back to my students what so many wonderful professors have given me.
I take a collaborative approach to teaching in which I work with my students rather than lecture at them. But I still make mistakes and am always trying to improve. That’s why each semester I ask my students for feedback on slips of paper with 3 words: Start. Stop. Continue. I might hate grading exams and papers, but I love using technology to make myself more accessible to students. That's why I make my office hours available over podcasts, get instant lecture feedback through Twitter, and use Facebook to deliver course material. I still keep in touch with my former students whenever possible, usually over tea. The psychology department at Catholic recognized me by creating a teaching award, which has been presented every year since 2008. However, the most meaningful recognition I received came in the following teaching evaluation:
“Ali made this class feel like 4th grade when everyone wanted to get called on. People actually love to learn psychology through his quirky, funny, and effective teaching style. If one day I decided to become a teacher, I will definitely try to be someone like Ali.”