A lot of things in the introduction of the ‘Finding My Teaching Voice’ article by Sarah E. Deel really resonated with me, as my first experience lecturing was also a subject I never studied in undergrad. I felt like I was unprepared and like I wouldn’t know enough about the subject and about teaching in general in order to help my students learn. Fortunately, I did learn more as I lectured more, and I studied a lot behind the scenes in order to feel more confident in the subject matter; however I still am very aware of the fact that I am very new to teaching.
It is very interesting to think about what sort of instructor I will come off as to my students. I feel like I would have a hard time naturally inserting jokes into my lectures, as I tend to be fairly serious when I teach. However, I do not want to be so serious as to be off-putting to my students, as I want them to ask for my aid when necessary.
The comment about wanting to improve students’ understanding of the material from wherever their starting point is, even if they don’t all reach the same endpoint, was very striking to me. I do find fairness an equality very important in the classroom, and my primary goal is to help students understand the material, but it wasn’t until now that I considered that students may still end up in different places and still have improved in the case of more abstract concepts.
After reviewing the materials, I think in general some of the most important things when teaching to me are: approachability, equality, making my content clear and not unnecessarily complicated, valuing learning over grades, and encouraging students to be more passionate about the subject at hand. However, I am sure I will discover other important aspects as I continue my teaching journey.