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Monday, October 26, 2015

Six Myths About a Teaching Persona by Linda Shadiow, PhD, and Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Linda Shadiow, PhD, and Maryellen Weimer, PhD summarizes, "What myths about constructing a teaching persona merit review?" appear in Philosophy of Teaching.

Photo: Faculty Focus

Teachers regularly exchange general advice about how to establish an identity in the classroom. Like most myths, these contain kernels of truth, but we believe their conclusions require a critical look. What are your beliefs about teaching persona, how it develops, and the role it plays in student learning?

Myth 1: Try to be like your own best teacher: “The best way to develop your persona is by doing what your best teachers did.”
  What if your best teacher isn’t at all like you as a person? That teacher created an impact on you by drawing from his or her own character traits. In following this advice uncritically, you end up trying to be like someone else. Linda had a favorite teacher who used wry sarcastic humor to comment on less-than-stellar assignments. When she tried to copy that in her own teaching, it came across as being accusatory rather than prodding. It’s better to look at our favorite teachers and ask: “What did this teacher do that made me want to learn and helped me learn?” And then, “If that’s my goal, how can I get there in a way that will work for me given the strengths I bring to teaching?”

Source: Faculty Focus