Home » Gedi2018-Grad 5114 » Step Away from the Podium and Teaching as Yourself

Step Away from the Podium and Teaching as Yourself

As a future instructor, I am fascinated to think and figure out who I will be as a teacher before I stuck in teaching my first class after graduation. What was said by Professor Fowler, first,  I need to answer these questions:

  1. How can I be genuine, sincere, and fully present in the classroom?
  2. How do I avoid posturing?
  3. How do I convey authority without being a strict authoritarian?
  4. How do I build rapport among all participants?
  5. How do I structure class sessions for optimum engagement and coverage?

Most of us start building our future teaching approach based on our experience through all these years as a student: what did we like the most? What did we hate? What did help us in learning the content? About all encouragement and motivations! And about discouragement and stresses! We want to empower the strength of our previous teacher in our teaching style and eliminate all weakness. All of us know that bad teacher can affect and hinder students’ education for years, and this is what we don’t want to be! Nevertheless, the question is how to achieve this goal?

Sarah E. Deel well said it is beneficial to search and obtain more information about techniques for developing and facilitating good communication skills between you and among/between the students with whom you will be working, but these techniques are not sufficient to make you a perfect authentic teacher. To be an authentic teacher, we should cultivate our teaching style based on our personality and skills.  Professor Fowler emphasized this point by mentioning that we “Must work to discover who you are as a teacher and choose the techniques that work in concert with being authentic in the classroom.” Thinking and exploring my personality and capabilities, I am sure that I do not want to spend or (I can say) waste my energy and time to be someone I am not or pretend how cool I am (that I am not at all!). I must decide what types of strategies or teaching techniques work for me rather than simply spend my time and energy to be someone else and employ all techniques in my classes.

What are my strategies???

I will definitely be myself in class and will keep the class active, will not lecture too much, will not ignore anyone and keep all student engaged specially those who are introvert or international (NO ONE IS NOT ALONE OR ISOLATED IN MY CLASS), will ensure that students understand that we are A TEAM in class and GROW  and FLOURISH together or DROWN together, will be approachable, will be organized and strict about assignment and deadlines but make the practical and creative assignments to encourge students, will play a music in class before start the class, arrange to held class in various locations and organize lots of field trips to enhance learning, and many other things will be added to this list as I grow and learn as a future instructor.

Therefore, although I hope and am doing my best to get an academic job at land-grant universities which my teaching responsibility will be far less than research responsibility, I believe that my teaching matters. I came to believe that being a good teacher is a continuous process that we need to re-evaluate ourselves to develop and refine our pedagogical approach.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Amy Hermundstad Nave says:

    Thank you for your post! I completely agree that it is important to find out who we are as educators instead of trying to be someone else. Have there been strategies or techniques that have resonated with you? Things that you want to try and implement? I really appreciated your statement about how important it is to re-evaluate ourselves and continually refine the approaches we use. That is so important!

  2. sogandmhz says:

    Thanks so much for the comment, Amy! You are right, I should talk more about my strategies. I revised and updated my Blog to address your comment.

  3. Maryam Yuhas says:

    I really like how you updated the blog to include your strategies. It almost sounds like a mission statement for your teaching style, maybe something you can include in your syllabus or something along those lines! Great post, definitely gave me some inspiration.

  4. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the post. I agree: there’s no point in wasting energy trying to be someone you’re not. And from the list of your strategies, it seems to me like you’ll be a great teacher. I like some of your ideas, like playing music before class starts (I used to do this for an early morning recitation class for a calculus course, and it always got me pumped for the class… though I have no idea how the students felt about it!). Field trips are also awesome, good idea. Good luck!

  5. arash says:

    you have a number of great ideas there. I really liked the part about having music in class. It’s something so unconventional it just begs to be included in a modern class !
    Being approachable means you may get a lot of requests for special circumstances, but I guess if it builds a strong relationship with students it is worth the trouble.

  6. Yan says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post! I had some similar pictures in my mind after reading the article and thought what might be good teaching styles based on my personality. But sometimes we are not exactly the same as what we think of ourselves. Thus, even we make strategies based on our personality or advantages, they might not be as ideal as we thought. I guess that having plans is good, but practices and adjustments are necessary before understanding ourselves as teachers.

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