My Teaching Voice

When I first started this post I though I would start by doing a review of the teachers I’ve had and think about what I liked/hated about them. Then use that review to help form my teaching voice. BUT, after going through the readings for this week I decided that instead of trying to portray myself as someone I’m not I would focus on identifying my personal strengths and use them to decide my teaching voice. The top personal strengths that come to mind when I think of myself are the following:

  1. Organized
  2. Detail-oriented
  3. Approachable (open-door policy)
  4. Excited about mechanical engineering

I’m going to cover each of these items in more detail below and how they are infused into my teaching voice.

In general, I’m a very organized person and I plan to carry that through my teaching. When it comes to teaching, I want to be prepared for every class. This means having “lectures” that are well formatted and designed such that each lecture lasts a single class period AND have this done for the entire semester before the class even starts. Now I should mention that I’m not much for scripts because I feel I do better ‘winging it’, but I do want to have bullet points so I make sure to cover the necessary information at the right parts during the lecture. In addition to being organized for the in-class portion I want to be organized in how assessments are distributed, collected, and graded. One last thing that I want to make sure to be organized in is the online parts of the class; I want to make sure the online part of the class compliments the in-class portion.

Not only do I like being well prepared for lectures and class in general, but I’m also detail-oriented and like things to be presented in an organized and well thought-out manner. For this reason, when it comes to designing lectures I plan to put a lot of effort into the layout and design of the lecture to make sure that it is as informative and useful as possible. In addition, I expect students to reciprocate by putting effort into the format and presentation of their homework. I don’t want to have to sit there straining my eyes to make out their hieroglyphics that they claim are their answers.

Due to my undergraduate education, I really like the idea of an open-door policy opposed to strict office hours. For this reason, I always like to inform students that they are free to come past my office with any questions they have. Right now, I always tell students to email me first so we can setup a time that works best for both of us. When I’m in a more teaching oriented position I plan to just tell students they can email me with questions, but if my door is open they are more than welcome to come in.

I genuinely love mechanical engineering. There are too many topics that I enjoy talking and teaching others about to try an outline here, but for simplicity, as long as it isn’t fluids or thermodynamics related I enjoy it. Therefore, when I get to teaching others about these subjects I can’t help but get a little to a lot excited about them. I like to think that this excitement rubs off on the students and gets them to be more interested and engaged in the material.