On the Way of Finding My Teaching Voice

In “Finding My Teaching Voice“, Sarah Deel narrates her journey of developing her teaching style from mimicking other good professor to being herself as a teacher. She faced many questions that I also have when I am finding my own teaching style.

I have being a teaching assistant for more than 6 years and a guest lecturer for several times. My advisor and the professors I worked with think I am ready to teach a class by myself. Thus, I was offered an opportunity to be an instructor for a summer course. I used similar teaching methods like my advisor who teaches this course in spring semester for a long time. Deel gives a slightly negative attitude to using some of your previous professor’s techniques in the classroom, as if it is opposed to finding your own teaching voice. But I think it will help you develop your own teaching voice when you take advantage of  some truly exceptional techniques. I tried to attract students’ attentions with videos, discussions, and various related examples during my lecture sessions (50 min) but I didn’t do well. Many students would do other things after 20-30 min of some lectures. Students thought the lectures were not interesting. That’s my fault. I am very bad at using humor in the classroom. I always use a lot of examples to make concepts/methods interesting to me, but it doesn’t work for students. I can understand many jokes from professors but it is really hard to me to incorporate proper humor in the classroom. I don’t know how to change the situation. How to incorporate humor in the classroom? Is it necessary to be a good teacher?