Reading about “Discovering your teaching self” highlights the importance of the way or style of teaching. The concept of still learning and writing about this proves that there is really no right or wrong way to teach, or else it would be that simple and taught as a rule in graduate school. This means no specific way prevails in providing information to students, but there are definitely certain ways more effective than others.
As we start our teaching career we all recall the best teachers we had or liked and try to copy their styles, hoping that would yield the same successful results it yielded on us years ago. It turns out that is not how things work exactly. Having a successful teaching experience as a students doesn’t necessarily mean that you, yourself will be able to pull the same successful outcome if you use the same style. If we think about it, the reason is very simple: ” Teaching is also about reflecting your personality in the style you teach rather than copying other styles”. It is about utilizing your best traits to serve your purpose. It is rather a journey you undergo to discover what you are doing right and what doesn’t work. And I think it is not a constant finding that applies to all your classes and students. The general outline of your style will definitely be consistent, if you are funny by nature then that will always reflect in your all of your teaching styles, but the specifics will differ. The topics you are teaching and the level of students you will be teaching will dictate some peculiarities. This requires continuous adaptation of your style to better serve the purpose of a specific lecture, but that doesn’t mean there is not a certain level of your character reflected even in those specifics.
I think with experience you learn the best scenarios and best mechanisms to cope with specific teaching situations. You learn that every professor must have a unique style which makes him/her special, and this style is certainly related to their beliefs and characters. Personally, in the very brief teaching experience I had during my masters studies I learned to reflect myself while teaching, but up to a certain limit. I learned to read my students and my audience and see what traits of myself are better received by the specific set of students and I acted accordingly. I had two sections with 20 students each and I behaved partially different with each of these sections. My first section had a more loud, easy-going, fun type of students which required me to teach in a more easy going yet quiet way. The second section had more serious and quiet type of students which forced the other side of me to balance the lack of energy and excitement in the room. Although I behaved slightly different in both of these sections, I still managed to keep the basics of my personality and style in both, changing the volume of the traits I have to better fit the circumstances.