It’s not you, it’s me…

This week’s readings called me for deep reflection. While it looks very evident, an effective way to become a good teacher through one-self awareness, it was not that evident to me. For sure there are strategies to gain student’s attention or to leave a lasting memory from a lecture, however, these strategies and techniques should be match with particular personalities to be efficient. Often times, people with opposite personalities try to use the same teaching strategy, which is no surprise that it will not produce similar outcomes. I enjoyed learning that to be a good teacher, it is necessary to first learn about our own styles, personalities, and confort zone. Once we are aware, and confident, of these personal characteristics, our style will adapt easier to the classroom personality. 

When I got the opportunity to start teaching, it was a last minute invitation. This rush in the getting things ready for joining the university faculty did not give me time to think about my teaching techniques. I remember that after turning in the required documentations, I only had time for reviewing the material I was going to teach, figuring it out, the classroom location and running to class. This sudden opportunity helped me to start teaching in my own natural way, without poses or forced techniques. This resulted in a an honest teaching approach.

However, honest does not mean efficient. In my particular case, I soon realized that the different classes had their own personalities, and like with our daily interactions, we must adapt to the way we interact and communicate with these different personalities. And it is here, where all of these techniques and strategies become useful. It is not about changing our honest ways of teaching, but about adapting it for an efficient interaction with the different classrooms’ personalities.

7 Replies to “It’s not you, it’s me…”

  1. Thank you for your post Miguel. So do you think that you have a basic underlying style of teaching and the rest you adapt according to the personality of the classroom…I’m curious to know more.

    1. Thank you for your response! I think that every person has a natural way of communicating, and particular ways to interact with different groups (1on1 student, to 10 students, to 50 students, to authorities, to friends, to in-laws, etc). So yes, I think ti is about adapting you natural ways of interacting with the personality of the class or audience you are interacting with. And in this part is when it gets very useful all those strategies for effective teaching! 🙂

  2. I agree with you in that teaching should be a dynamic process and not a defined “one formula for all”. Most of the times, teachers tend to use the same syllabus, course contents and the style of teaching for years and this may not match with the personality of the class.

    1. Thanks for your response. I think “proven”teaching techniques are only effective with particular messenger (instructor) and particular audiences. I don’t think the same teaching techniques (effective) can apply for all instructors and all audiences.

  3. I like how you turned a situation like having to start teaching with little preparation into a positive outcome by pointing out that you developed an honest teaching approach. I also agree that just being honest (or passionate or efficient) alone does not make you the best teacher you could be. You have to incorporate all of these things, and more, to really master the art/science of teaching.

    1. Thanks for your response! I agree, even though it is an honest (or passionate or efficient) way of teaching, it doesn’t mean it makes you a good teacher. Adapting those to the class will be good!

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