Finding my authentic teaching voice is I think easier said than done. I have had a number of instructor positions in my life. Each one has in some way contributed to my actions and behaviors in the classroom. And yet I do not believe that I have truly found my voice in the classroom yet.
The questions in the reading forced me to rethink how I am in the classroom. Specifically “how can I be genuine, sincere, and fully present in the classroom”? Today I was in the classroom and I had roughly ten minutes of non-stop lecture. I had the thought that I had been rather robotically talking, and I looked at the students and noticed that they were rather robotically taking notes. Without getting to metaphysical, I felt like I wasn’t present in the classroom.
I immediately started to ask the students questions and try to engage them in discourse. The shift in tactics seemed to refocus the class and reengage them. I think that as much as I admired my professors who would give these great lectures, their voice is not mine. I had a Professor Saladino who would lecture for two hours with no powerpoints and no notes and the students would sit spellbound listening. I think that the longer I am in the classroom the more I realize that my real strength lies in facilitating a discussion.
I am excited to see the evolution of this process. As I gain more confidence and experience, I hope that my voice becomes more natural and authentic in the classroom.
4 thoughts on “Discovering my authentic teaching voice”
Thanks for sharing!
I think that the fact that you are very aware of the process will help you soon to find your teaching voice. I don’t think that long lectures are effective at all, if we read research done on attention span, we can see that in students in college age is no more than 15 minutes (some suggesting no more than 5). So we really need to do something about it!
I hear you! And I think you are well on your way to finding your authentic teaching voice, because you’ve already taken the most important step, and that’s reflecting on what you’re doing and how well it’s working. I really believe that everyone’s authentic teaching voice is an effective teaching voice. Different people teach differently. They use different registers and have different ranges. You’ve already figured one of them out. Lucky students. Lucky you!
Thank you for sharing your experience. I taught a course before and sometimes I felt I am just reading some text for students and they are not learning. I just wanted to present a topic and go to the other one. For sure it was not effective!
Thanks for sharing! It’s great that you were able to take a step back and be in the moment. Responding to that non-verbal feedback (noticing your students robotically taking notes, then engaging them in discussion) is a great start to creating a student-centered classroom. I am working on the same thing in my own class.