Have you taken a teaching style survey lately? For some reason these particular surveys don’t appear in the long line of social media surveys on Facebook! My recent ABQ Senior Biology course with Queen’s University prompted me to double-check my style via this teaching style survey.

It was as I had predicted: facilitator (4.12). I went through teachers’ college when constructivism was heavily emphasized and I strived to implement constructivist strategies in my classes in Mexico. I have always told my students, “If I am doing my job well I make myself obsolete,” and ten years into my career I still believe this to be true. “Guide on the side” is my default state.

My next two strongest styles were tied for second place (3.37): formal authority and delegator. The former seems accurate as part of my angle and appeal to my students was the fact that I had a prior career and knew of which I spoke from personal experience in the field of ecology and environmental consulting. This proved most useful whenever the question of “why does this matter?” arose.

The latter relates to giving roles and responsibilities to students. Though I rarely turn students into my minions I have recently explored options that honour student voice and choice. My students have embarked on passion projects and I managed them as my previous supervisor had managed me, with clear guidelines and ample autonomy.