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Excellence in Teaching

Mr. Steve Best

Mr. Steve Best has been a member of the Charleston Southern University faculty since 1973. His father was in the military, so Mr. Best has called many places home, the last place being Fayetteville, NC, where his father retired. Mr. Best earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Clemson University, in the fields of biology and zoology. He taught at Greenville Tech for two years before coming to Charleston Southern (then Baptist College). He was also a teaching assistant at Clemson while in graduate school.

Mr. Best decided to come to Charleston Southern because there was a job opening and he already knew some people on campus. Over the years he has found several techniques to be successful in the classroom. The Biology Department was one of the first to use full-course syllabi in the classroom, covering everything to be taught in the semester. They also use a good bit of audio-visual, including video lab tapes for the students. The professors make a video tape of the labs, and if the students want to borrow them to use as a review for the test, they bring in a new tape exchange the two. The student gets their tape back when they return the lab tape. He has also found that making the labs high-impact and participatory is another successful technique.

I'm proof that lightning can strike twice in the same place, since I've been awarded twice, he says. But Mr. Best doesn't take any credit for himself. While he is concerned that all students have a chance for success, it is the entire Biology Department that makes up his teaching excellence. Mr. Best feels all students love biology, but not all are successful in the classroom. We give students a roadmap for success. If they follow the guidelines, they will be successful. But not all of them stay on track. He feels that getting to know the students by their name is one part of excellent teaching. And though appointments are nice, they aren't necessary if a student needs to meet with Mr. Best. The Biology Department is very accessible, and the doors are always open.

Mr. Best thinks that students find it interesting that he was in the military for over twenty years. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, and did extensive traveling while in the service, which kept him up-to-date with national and international affairs. He feels this diverse background has helped in the classroom. While not directly related to his work, Mr. Best loves the outdoors. He lives on the water, has four boats, and enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, and playing and watching sports. He also enjoys remodeling, both inside and outside he has added a back porch to his house and put down new floors and tile. I like to think up a plan, sketch it, and then do it.