Blog Post 1 – Discovering your authentic teaching self

I have never really reflected on this idea of “who I want to be in the classroom”. I was raised to be a very empathetic person, but still, hold the structure in everything I do. I think that’s what I want to take with me. I think it is important to be able to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and think from their perspective. But, at some point, there needs to be a line and people need to be held accountable. The reading by Professor Fowler, made me reflect this when I got to the ‘Questions to answer for yourself’ section. I think by holding those values, that is how I stay genuine in the classroom.

 

When I was in middle school, I joined a technology-based club. I was the only girl out of 45 boys, but I loved building things, so I stayed. I entered the competition and ended up beating all of the boys who made fun of a little girl for joining “their” club. The reason I succeeded was because of a teacher who took me under his wing. He helped me, he taught me, and he guided me. The next year, I was able to recruit four other girls in my class to join the tech club and every year more girls would join. They saw my true passion for engineering, and I was able to teach others. At a very young age, I was able to mentor young girls and help them succeed. If it was not for my mentor, Mr. Gough, I would not have been able to do any of this. In the future, I would love to teach younger generations of future engineers. It would be a dream to continue the club that changed my life.

 

Also, in the reading, they discuss the ‘performance’ of teaching and adapting to acting techniques. I understand where they are coming from by engaging an audience and being able to tell a story. But, I do not necessarily agree with this. I feel like it could be ingenuine, and not resonate with the students. It becomes difficult to differ from being on in the classroom, to how you act outside of the classroom. If those personas do not align, the students can become distrustful. I think it is important to be your authentic, genuine self-inside, and outside of the classroom to create a productive learning environment.

7 Replies to “Blog Post 1 – Discovering your authentic teaching self”

  1. Your story about the tech club is really touching and thanks to the teachers who took you under his wings. Even today, there are still some biases between males and females. For example, boys should not express their soft feelings to the public, and girls are suggested not to take the technology and science major.

  2. I appreciate you sharing your story about the technology club. You bring to light the importance of how “teaching” and “learning” can happen outside of the classroom. I think this aligns with the idea that we are emersed in our learning. Some things we learn are experienced in ways that we did not realize until we take a moment to reflect. I think you bring up an important point that extracurricular activities and clubs play a vital role in learning. You made me think about some of my most cherished times in school and what I learned from my participation.

  3. I think in you story and experience you present a clear example of the effect a teacher can make on our future careers and passions. And this is why it is vital for us to play a key role in our students’ lives too. Being genuine as the mentioned is crucial, yet I think there is no harm in being slightly different or showing opposite traits of ourselves to fit the needs of the classroom. I think this is an inevitable part of the adaptation process we go through to better communicate with our students needs.

    1. I agree, you described a situation where you were supported by a good mentor, but where you also became a mentor to other students, specifically, the other girls you encouraged to join the club and get excited about these new topics with you. Mentoring in teaching is so important and I think sometimes it gets forgotten.

  4. I found it interesting to see the transformative role of professors to mentors as you describe in your article. I figure that the genuine interest in a specific student might generate stronger relationships as you had with Mr. Gough. However, I wonder if his closeness to you was empathy because of probably a disadvantageous situation. I do believe that as educators, we might have to focus more and account for the students that might have greater needs from us to be more effective in our teaching.

  5. I too have had important experiences with various teachers/mentors throughout my education. As a woman in science, it was always very helpful to have female professors who excelled in their fields, and I’m not sure I would be on the same path if I had less of them in my life – I think you are correct that teachers’ impacts can be profound and lasting on their students, and I will strive to remember that as I go on to teach myself.

  6. Reading through your post I felt great about you breaking the norms of the tech club at your school and rising up to be an inspiration for other girls to do the same. Inspiring others could be your forte and that is what great teachers do, they educate and inspire others.

    As you mentioned about “performance” of a teacher, I would like to say that the matter is very subjective and entails a plethora of personal opinions but I do agree to you not agreeing to the performance of the teachers and the techniques used to teach as a benchmark.

    Great Work!

    Good Luck!

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