Statement of Teaching Philosophy
I prioritize discovering the particular needs and learning styles of my students so that every individual can reach their highest potential. At the beginning of every semester, I ask my students what their personal objectives are in a literature course or in learning a language. Based on their goals and needs, I design various types of activities for individual and group work that enable them to learn from each other in a safe environment where mistakes are treated as opportunities for learning and consistent work is explicitly encouraged and celebrated. I incorporate examples of popular culture, including films and other media, to bring ancient literary texts to the students’ context and nurture critical skills that facilitate literary analyses from inter-medial and inter-cultural perspectives. In language classes, I prepare lesson plans that include interactive handouts, worksheets, kinesthetic learning activities, authentic language materials, and visually-stimulating presentations to aid student-focused lectures. These variated activities and materials encourage students to use inductive reasoning and teamwork to solve level-appropriate tasks. My research into the coming-of-age genre, compiled in my dissertation, has enabled me to reflect on the complex internal processes of development that students undergo. I have translated this knowledge into my teaching by creating tasks and activities that reduce focus on me as a lecturer and instead emphasize group work and individual participation that require creative problem-solving. Lastly, I provide opportunities to learn outside the classroom. In particular, I currently run a writing mentorship program to help students through Purdue’s LGBTQ center. For three years, I was also responsible for organizing the German Movie Night, a department-wide 5-film program for students to learn about German culture through film.
Professor Vallejo is wonderfully bright and bubbly in class, he has so much good energy and it definitely dubs off on me. —Spring 2019
Just an awesome dude, he's energetic, knows what he's talking about, and you can really tell that he cares that his students are learning. I was terrified in the beginning because I do not do well in learning languages that are not my own, but this quickly became one of my more favorite classes thanks to Ricardo. —Spring 2019
Ricardo was a very enthusiastic instructor, and it was obvious that he actually cared that students understood the material. He presented material in a fun, interactive way which made learning a lot easier and more enjoyable even if we were learning something frustratingly difficult. —Spring 2018