Teaching by example
“You are a role model for students. You should be very excited about what you are doing,” says Myoungwhon Jung. Jung, an associate professor of Special and Early Education, takes his own advice to heart – his students look up to him.
They describe his teaching methods as thought-provoking, engaging and supportive. And they report leaving his classes with an abundance of valuable teaching skills. That’s exactly what Jung, who specializes in teaching math and science instruction for young children, strives to achieve. Jung says: “One of my joys is when students say strategies they learned from me actually worked in their own classrooms.”
Jung, a native of South Korea, decided to become an educator after teaching children in his church, and later became a full-time preschool teacher.
“Teaching young children is a great job, but being a teacher educator gave me a way to help future teachers become better,” he said.
Actively involved in research partnerships with local school districts, Jung is known for sharing his findings and theories with his NIU students. “I can actually see changes in the field and use my observations and experiences as a researcher with my students,” Jung says.
Sharing research, along with his engaging and accessible approach, is an equation his students value. Jung said he learns from his students too. Collaborating with students, and maintaining an open-door policy for them, is a far cry from his education in South Korea.
“I didn’t have any interaction with my professors in Korea. They were not approachable. The culture in this department is to make students comfortable sharing concerns, to be more accessible,” Jung explains.
Judging by the comments from Jung’s students, he’s definitely approachable. He proudly shares a comment from his student evaluations:“Dr. Jung is an extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable professor who is very in tune to the needs of prospective teachers. Thank you Dr. Jung!”