My Teaching Portfolio

Teaching Philosophy

My mom at the March For Our Schools protest in 2019. You can also find me in this photo in the right corner. She found it important that I come with her to protest and document the event.

From a very young age, I accompanied my mother to her classroom. I watched her change her career path several times, from art teacher to special education teacher to principal. Regardless of the school she was located, her passion for teaching never wavered. Our dinner table conversations were always turned into Socratic seminars, questioning how she could reach the student in the back of the classroom struggling or the impact of short term and long-term memorization within a lesson plan. Our countless family trips to historical places and art museums only pushed my mother’s passion for teaching on to me. I loved to soak up every ounce of knowledge that I could. It was not until college that I realized that through teaching, I could not only continue this learning, but create this similar drive and experience for others. The most important lessons that I incorporate into my teaching philosophy, I have learned from my mother. Each part of my philosophy is accompanied by a quote that I have learned from her. Within my own classroom, I hope to recognize each student as an individual and create an environment that empowers my students. My goal is to utilize these within my classroom. All students are individuals that each have their own unique learning style.

“Everyone’s a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” In order to bring valuable instruction to every student within my classroom, I believe it is imperative for a teacher to use multiple teaching styles and methods to reach their students. Within my own classroom, my implementation of these tactics helped me reach students that I never imagined I would be able to make an impact on. I used to teach an acting course and was once presented with a student that never talked. I remember thinking how am I to teach this student acting, if they will not even read the script? I had to change my entire teaching style in order to reach this student, instead of instructing her to speak, I worked on her acting skills kinesthetically. By the end of the course, I was shocked to see her speaking louder than her peers on the stage. Documentary filmmaking has the unique opportunity to encompass all of the teaching styles: linguistic, visual, auditory, as well as hands on learning. As a teacher, I hope to ensure that every student leaves my classroom with an understanding and knowledge that fit their learning needs.

Teaching is creating an environment where students can take risks and learn through a higher level of critical thinking.

William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” This quote reflects a major part of my teaching philosophy. When looking at a pail of water, there is only so much water we can fill it with, but a fire can grow bigger and bigger. For me, teaching is lighting that kind of fire within my students, that encourages them to continue to want to learn and experience more. Teaching a student to grow a love for learning creates an impact that continues throughout their life. When I look back on my own education, I value most the teachers that worked to light my own fire whether that be through their personal mentorship or through hands-on and meaningful education they provided me. This philosophy heavily influenced my teaching style, education is not about memorization or test taking, it is about the real-life experiences and critical thinking that can be produced within the classroom. As a teacher, I find it imperative to provide my students with an education that they carry with them throughout their lives, whether that be through an interest in the topic of documentary film or the life skills they take with them.

From an early age, my mother has taught me about what it means to make a powerful impact on a student’s life. As I begin my own career as a teacher, I only hope that I can leave such an impact on a student as she has done for me.

Teaching Experience

  • Visual Storytelling (COM 309), Teaching Assistant with Chris Zaluski, undergraduate-level, Wake Forest University: Fall 2020 (Syllabus)
  • After Effects Master Class, undergraduate-level, Frostburg State University: Spring 2022
  • Fundamentals of Video and Film Production, undergraduate-level, University of North Carolina Charlotte: Spring 2023
  • Editing Film & Media, undergraduate-level, University of North Carolina Charlotte: Spring 2023
  • Introduction to Film, undergraduate-level, University of North Carolina Charlotte: Online Asynchronous Course Summer 2023
  • Audio Storytelling and Podcasting, undergraduate-level, University of North Carolina Charlotte: Fall 2023
  • Fundamentals of Film and Media, undergraduate-level, University of North Carolina Charlotte: Fall 2023

Student Testimonials

Fundamentals of Film and Media Student

Sidney Beeman is a key player in expanding the film department in the future. She serves as a prime example of what a quality professor is. She develops connections with her students, is very understanding and easy to learn from/work under.  Would take this course 100 times over again and recommend this class to any student, especially if it is led by Sidney Beeman.

Introduction to Film Student

I thoroughly enjoyed this class. Although it was very quick, I feel like I learned so much and have taken quite a bit of it into my own analysis of films outside of class. My instructor was very knowledgeable and worked hard to make us think critically about filmmakers intentions and the messages they were trying to get across.

Editing in Film and Media Student

With students of all varying levels, her feedback was relevant to the student and their skillset to help each student advance in skills as they learned in different ways or were at different levels to begin with. Prof Beeman did a fantastic job being able to teach a wide variety of skill levels and adapted small aspects of assignments to be tailored towards students interests and ideas, and that helped foster creativity to use the skills we learned in class in projects that inspired us.

Fundamentals of Video and Film Production Student

Professor Beeman is an asset for the university. Professor Beeman demonstrated the ability to challenge experienced students while making sure that others got the personal assistance that they needed.

Fundamental of Video and Film Production Student

Throughout the semester, I met frequently with Professor Beeman. Professor Beeman’s availability and willingness to help were indispensable to my success.

Visual Storytelling Student

Sidney’s tutorial and explanations during the photography module were very clear and easy to follow along with. She knew the material well and she was quick to respond to any questions that I had.

Visual Storytelling Student

I appreciated Sidney’s help throughout the semester as well as her critical feedback because it made me a stronger photographer.

Visual Storytelling Student

Sidney Beeman was honestly one of the best TAs that I have had at Wake Forest. Her positive energy and overall welcoming nature made me feel incredibly supported. I looked forward to every meeting we had and she was always so eager to help me succeed. I feel lucky to have worked with her!