1. Zhenyu Yao
    September 13, 2020 @ 7:53 pm

    Very good organizations of unique skills and qualities. I agree with you that having a “flexible, not static” teaching self is very important. As an instructor for undergraduates, I try to be flexible for students since many students have different understanding levels and need to be taught differently. I try to give ten minutes before and after class for students to ask quick questions about lecture notes.

    • kmyost
      September 27, 2020 @ 5:13 pm

      That’s a great idea Zhenyu! I imagine that giving them time before and after class to ask questions is much more approachable for some students than having to come to office hours.

  2. Jenny Kirsch
    September 14, 2020 @ 12:50 am

    This was a great blog post to read! As someone who also left their job of many years, I can empathize with the experience of sliding back into the academic world and preparing one’s self for becoming an educator and lifelong academic. I appreciate you identifying your strengths and how you plan to incorporate those into your future pedagogical decision making. I also really enjoyed the closing note of not remaining static. You’re right! Among so much, this year has challenged everyone to get out of their sense of “normal” and find new rhythms and grooves to navigate life. Teaching ought to be the same – never stopping the call to learn, grow and adjust!

    • kmyost
      September 27, 2020 @ 5:13 pm

      I think so many of professors I have had in the past “tuned out” and continue to teach things the same way year after year – and it shows! The “call to learn, grow, and adjust” is so important!

  3. Sara Lamb
    September 16, 2020 @ 6:26 pm

    Hey Kaleigh, thanks for sharing your ideas about what authenticity means to you by discussing your strengths and qualities as an aspiring educator. Like Jenny said above,sharing that you left your job to return to school resonated with me–especially the part about how you want to have your strengths and your career better aligned.

    Like you described, the act of asking the question: who am I? is an important exercise. Reflecting on that piece as well as your experiences of courses to date is also a good practice. You can very quickly get an idea of what worked for you, what didn’t, etc… I don’t think there’s anything wrong with plucking inspiration for teaching from the experiences you have had. In fact, I think pairing your reflection of who you are and what you can bring to the table with these inspirational bits is where the magic really starts to happen. That exercise should reveal to you ways that you can take what has worked for you in the past, remix it, and make it your own.

    • kmyost
      September 27, 2020 @ 5:11 pm

      Sara, I love that! I really do think it’s valuable to assess what exactly those inspirational teachers did that was impactful to you, and see if it’s something that is congruent with who you are as a teacher.

  4. hokieinstructor
    September 16, 2020 @ 8:35 pm

    “I believe that buy-in (to a successful classroom environment, to a successful semester) from the teacher is just as important as buy-in from the students”

    Agree with you 100%. Students can really tell when their instructors are not “there.” I take this to be not just a general stance but also something that can happen on any given day. There are definitely days when I feel like I am not caffeinated enough, awake enough, focused enough to be there in front of 40 young adults and convince them that what I am saying is 1) accurate, 2) interesting, and 3) useful to them. There may be a stigma against taking mental health days, but I think that people should consider them to be doing the students a service too. No one wants to be stuck in a classroom with an instructor who can’t be fully present. Have you ever been in a graduate seminar where the professor is checking emails or has to step out every 5 minutes to deal with family stuff? I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do those things, but I think your comments here brings up my point: there has to be buy-in from everyone in the classroom. If someone is distracted or disinterested, it brings the whole environment down.

    • kmyost
      September 27, 2020 @ 5:09 pm

      Absolutely agree about taking mental health days as an instructor. Professors have so much on plates, and teaching obligations are often seriously undervalued despite the amount of time and energy they require! Letting yourself rest and recuperate could be the best thing you do for your students all semester!

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