My teaching philosophy in working with college students is grounded in a practice of professionalism tempered with informality and humor. To draw the best out of every student and to encourage thought, growth, and expression, I strive to give each student a sense of individual instruction and support despite the group situation. In part, I accomplish this by trying to be sensitive to his/her particular needs and problems as well as by nurturing his/her abilities. I try to establish an atmosphere of inquiry and, thereby, encourage the student’s search for answers, not only as these pertain to the immediate class, but to his/her life as well. I support these tenets, in part, by providing stimulating educational materials, whether in English Composition, Creative Writing, or Literature; by listening and questioning; and by serving as a role model.
I believe it is my duty to help my students fulfill both the old and new SUNY mottos: “Let Each Become All He Is Capable of beings” and “To Learn, to search, to serve.” I agree with John Henry Cardinal Newman when he wrote in The Idea of a University”: “It is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is sophistical, and to discard what is irrelevant. It prepares him to fill any post with credit, and to master any subject with facility” (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1947; pp. 157–158).
Observer: Professor Ellen Tremper, Brooklyn College "I thought Ms. [Hewitt] gave a thoroughly competent lesson. I am particularly impressed by her sensitivity to her students' need for help in managing their lives in this first difficult period of adjusting to college life. She is teaching them not just to be good writers but to be good students as well. This is a responsibility more of us should undertake in our teaching of the basic composition course."