This is the debate that I am currently facing. There are various reasons why I want to pursue my PhD but I am not sure teaching is one of them.
Through my previous GA I was exposed to co-teaching with my co-worker/classmate also in my Higher Ed program. This experience made me realized how much I disliked grading. I had a hard time balancing what I felt was too lenient or too strict. Similarly to this meme… I feel that I have patience but not when students are asking questions twice because they weren’t paying attention. So here I am in this dilemma of whether I want to teach or not. I actually think I could be a decent professor because Sarah E Deel and Professor Fowler both mentioned in their articles various teaching strategies that I saw myself doing in my first class already. Some of these were being authentic, engaging, and prepared. But that’s just me assuming because who knows since I didn’t make it to ratemyprofessors.com I checked haha.
On the other hand in the article Finding my teaching voice, this statement was brought up “I got the sense that it didn’t matter much; it was how you paid your bills while you were conducting research”. I think this is something that I think a lot of graduate students can relate and is pivotal to some of the teaching issues we face today. This is how many future professors tend to begin their graduate school journey. Many receive no guidance to the first time they have to teach, it is usually covering for a professor that can’t make it for a class that day. At Virginia Tech, I have seen more intentional training for GTAs but I am not sure this was the case for my undergraduate institutions. Many times if a GTA covered a lectured for a professor I could see their lack of guidance. As an undergraduate student I would be annoyed and complained to peers etc.. but now as a graduate student I have seen how many times it is not their fault and say “you can’t blame them.. Is not their fault”.
Lastly, Professor Fowler in his article The Authentic Teaching Self and Communication Skills brings this up “ Being “real” and “present” in the classroom does not mean you erase all boundaries; Paulo Freire argues that teaching is always directive—as the teacher you are never on a completely equal level with the students, even as you recognize that your students can be both learners/teachers in various moments, and even as your recognize that you can be a teacher/learner”. The caught my attention as I am a Freire fan. If you haven’t read his Pedagogy of the Oppressed I would definitely recommend it! I truly agree with this because when you get that teaching title it will separate you from your students but it does not mean that the classroom and learning experience can’t be a dialogue between the two. As I continue to have this dilemma whether or not I go into Academia I do have a quote that pulls me towards teaching “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” -Nelson Mandela