Philosophy of Teaching

I strongly believe in learner-centered teaching—a pedagogical approach that I have practiced as a teaching assistant (TA) and associate instructor (AI) for the past five years. 

At UC Davis, I have had the rewarding experience of utilizing this approach in leading weekly discussion sections for both introductory and upper-division courses in linguistics, and even teaching two of my own courses (LIN 1, 103A). For me, being an instructor is more than simply presenting new concepts or ideas. I strive to contribute to the growth of my students by inspiring them to engage with the material.

Creating an environment where students feel comfortable engaging with the material and interacting is key for their overall success in the course. It is for this reason that I began creating focused worksheets and activities for my own students, integrating both structured review and example exercises. I enjoy these more interactive discussion sections and lectures, where students break-away to work in small groups and discuss their approaches. 



Michelle was hands down one of the best TAs I have had in my three plus years at UC Davis. She was knowledgable about the material and was willing and able to answer any question students had. I greatly appreciated the effort Michelle put in to make our class worksheets. Worksheets that helped us practice the needed skills for homework assignments and tests. The extra effort Michelle put in to provide us with resources that helped us in the class was more than helpful. I have had too many TAs unwilling to go this extra mile for their students. I also greatly appreciated how available she made herself to her students, welcoming emails, appointments, and office hour visits to get help. Michelle has shown that she is a TA that cares for her students and wants them to do well.
-Student evaluation (TA, LIN 1: Intro to Linguistics)


I thought she did an excellent job answering questions and appealing to various ways of learning (e.g.: hands-on, visual, etc.) through different methods of presenting the material like activities and videos.
-Student evaluations (Instructor, LIN 1: Intro to Linguistics)


Michelle Cohn is always patient and ready to answer questions, even if she must pause our lab time to ensure that we understand the materials. She is always ready to go the extra mile to find ways that will help us tackle the homework, exams and help us remember the concepts we are learning in class. Our discussion time is always filled with energy and allows us to work with our classmates
-Student evaluation (TA, LIN 111: Intro to Phonological Theory)