Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Teaching 1.0

For the first time, I’m teaching students for more than 30 minutes! I’m giving a Sociology class, a 5 points class on media in the information age where I teach about blogs, social networking, iTV etc. I just got back from Åbo where I held my first two classes of the course, that many students participate in. And, I didn’t die! I proclaim this rather surprisingly as I dread speaking in front of groups larger than 2. Including me. Well, I’m a bit harsh on myself now, that’s not the whole truth. I loathed the thought of standing in front of an audience the days before the event. While I’m up there, talking, teaching, explaining or whatever, I absolutely enjoy it. Fortunately, it’s not as much of a problem today as it used to be though. I’ve turned down perfectly fine opportunities to teach, talk and convey my thoughts on issues just because of this anxiety. One day though, I got so angry with myself for being such a coward; I took the bull by the horns and decided to get rid of the stage fright. Sure, I still feel nervous but in a good and motivating way, no to the extent that I turn down opportunities to communicate with groups. One thing that helped me was learning that people who I admire, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Lasse Winnerbäck (Swedish musician), also suffered from stage fright. I thought to myself: If they could, then I can.

Well, the students just decided on what case studies they’ll do and report on later on. (Naturally, they have to present their cases in front of the class. I'm trying to prevent them from developing the same anxiety I did...) Many chose blogs, others interactivity and many chose looking on TV through the glasses of Bourdieu. I’m so excited, I’m so eager to see what they’ll find! It’s been only 2 years since I was a graduate student and I’d love to start working on the assignments myself. I find it kinda weird to be a teacher, to try to convey knowledge to students, to try to be as clear, consistent and interesting as every student wants a teacher to be. It’s quite a challenge, I’ll tell ya! Luckily, my student perspective hasn’t weathered away completely so I remember quite well what I and my student friends wanted in a good and inspiring teacher. Hope I’m succeeding in being the teacher I know I always wanted to have as a student.

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing your fear. I too think it's awful to talk to talk to large audiences, I get all sweaty and red! It's nice to read that some one else feels the same...

Paeonia said...

Hi Sarah, lots of people geek out when public talking is concerned. The only antidote I've found is to do exactly that, talk in public! Get experience, and you'll see it's actually quite fun and rewarding. Good luck!