Sitting though classes for the majority of our lives teaches us part of what it means to be a professor. How many times have you sat through a lecture where you couldn’t look away? I bet you could name that professor. I bet that professor didn’t even use a bunch of new-age technological teaching advancements, not that these can’t enhance the experience, but I can almost guarantee you that this professor had their teaching formula down to a practiced science.

One of the best lectures that I sat through was a teacher that used none other than an old-fashioned overhead projector. No PowerPoint slides. No Iclickers. Just a couple charts and an overhead marker was all he had, yet he kept students enthralled and interested. Like putting on a uniform, he found his authentic teaching style and leaned into it.

I did a strengths finder assignment for class once and learned the best teams are made up of people with differing sets of skills and that our time is better spent honing our strengths and less time focusing on our weaknesses. In terms of teaching, I see faculty as a complicated network of educators who comprise a student’s educational team and just as there are difference learning styles, there are different teaching styles. All that we can do is to find what works best.

Now, how many times can you say you sat through a lecture where you lost interest, became board, even left early because the professor or lecturer was, for lack of a better term, blah? If you are like me, then probably too many to count. Which is sad.

As human beings we can usually tell when someone is not being their authentic self. When someone is acting fake or not genuine. And as communal beings we are naturally attracted to confident people. As people, and especially as teachers, when we are acting in our true nature is when we are our most confident selves. Aristotle said, “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Therefore, how can we convey wisdom without first knowing our authentic teaching self?