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.

Organized:
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.

Detail-oriented:
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.

Approachable:
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.

Excited:
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.