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Between the Lines of Our Pedagogy

Our teaching persona is expressed in how we go about shaping the learning environment. A purposeful integration of our teaching persona helps link students with content in subtle ways. This matters because we’re after an expression of teaching persona that plays a constructive role in creating a learning environment where learners thrive and teachers flourish.

How teaching persona influences the learning environment becomes clear when we consider the goals we have for learners and learning. Among the many goals we have for students are some that transcend disciplines. We aim for students to

This list looks linear on the page, but these goals are inextricably linked and related. If we aim for these attributes in our students, our willingness to exhibit the same qualities draws our teaching persona and authentic presence into the mix.

To illustrate, here are examples of where there can be reciprocity between our aims for students and who we are as teachers.

As we aim to have students value the study of the discipline we can make our experiences in the field visible.

As we aim to have students engage with the content we can find ways to bring our enthusiasm, curiosity, wonder, and personal commitments into the course.

As we aim to have students persist when the work gets difficult and to grow from guidance and critique, we can take share our own vulnerability and growth.

As we aim to have students connect theory to applications and practice we can integrate personal connections as resources.

The uniqueness of who we are in the classroom—what our teaching persona is—breathes between the lines of our pedagogy as we shape the learning environment. What we want to flourish in student learning we can choose to make visible in our teaching. Our persona is one avenue for this.

Related articles
This is the final article in a series that explored teaching persona—what it is and what influences its evolution. Review the previous articles:

  1. How Do I Make Choices About Who I Am as a Teacher? – Oct. 5, 2015
  2. Six Myths About a Teaching Persona – Oct. 26, 2015
  3. A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations – Nov. 23, 2015
  4. The Rhythms of the Semester: Implications for Practice, Persona – Jan. 18, 2016