Authentic Teaching

Authentic teaching is something I have thought about in the past when I am in front of students. I have never taught a class before and teaching is not something that I hope to pursue in the future. However, within my field I will be facilitating workshops. I resonated with Deel’s reflection “Finding my Teaching Voice”, because I usually feel like I have imposter syndrome when I am in front of students. I am not a “edu-tainer” and do not conduct myself as someone who attempts to be comedic. What I care about is getting information across to students in a way that allows them to be engaged in their own learning process. However, this is something that I struggle with. Some of my peers and colleagues are able to make their presentations, workshops, or classes engaging through activities. Creativity with activities continues to be something that I am working on. Thus far my approach has been to provide hands-on learning and provide opportunities for questions. I have no problem repeating an exercise or attempting various ways to explain a concept. I do often wonder if it is enough. Sometimes activities seems like a time sucker and do not convey concepts in a memorable way.

Not Funny Gladiator GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Like Deel, I hope students will find me to be approachable, but I want them to use critical thinking skills. I want students to be able to learn information and give them an opportunity to question what they are learning. In one of my classes a successful tool was team quizzes. Every student was required to do an individual quiz and team quiz to master readings. I do not agree with individual quizzes because I feel like they do not do a good job of measuring success. However, team quizzes were useful because peers rely on one another to come up with the correct answers. If students got an answer wrong they always had the opportunity to appeal and provide evidence to support their answers. Formal teaching in a classroom is not something that will be part of my career, but I consider myself to be an educator and will find my own way of authentic teaching.

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6 Responses to Authentic Teaching

  1. Yousef Jalali says:

    I believe what you mentioned about giving students opportunity to question what they learn is such a valuable goal. In connection with the notion of critical thinking, I believe students do not have that much opportunity to practice to think and reflect critically on various topics. Most lecture-oriented classed do not support that kind of environment. I also think your emphasis on team and the role of relational capacity can lead to the learning context in which students actually have a better chance for fostering critical thinking.

  2. Matthew Cheatham says:

    Similarly to Stephen’s comment, I am not pursuing teaching and can struggle at times in making my presentations and trainings engaging for the learning styles students on their level as I am not very creative either. We are all educators within student affairs, but those of us not in the classroom have to figure out individually how we can best connect and help our students learn through their experiences.

  3. sogandmhz says:

    Nice blog! I do not have a sense of humor in class either (funny GIF). And I think we still can be a good teacher if we make the learning fun (NOT hilarious). I agree that being approachable is the most essential character of a teacher, I remember that how I suffered in the class which the instructor was not approachable; I did not learn anything in that class. However, I got a good grade.
    It is true that we build our teaching voice based on our previous experience, but it is important to examine new techniques and the teaching situation (e.g., type of class, the course content, the location) deeper to complete our experience-based teaching style and improve our performance.

  4. Jyotsana Sharma says:

    Heather, I think the approachable part is super important. One has to be able to facilitate the development of the critical thinking skill set in students, not doing it for them AND be approachable so that if they don’t “get” it then they can ask. Whether you are an educator formally by title or not, you will always be teaching and learning through life in general like all of us, right?!

  5. Stephen T-N says:

    Heather, I’m with you on this! As people not heavily pursuing a teaching career, we don’t really have to think about this. However, we do want to be as engaging as possible when we give our presentations in our respective fields. I also don’t consider myself a largely creative person, so coming up with really fun/interesting activities to use in my presentations is something that I struggle with as well. I think though with practice and also taking notes on others presentations, we can work to become better at it! Thanks for your post!

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