2013-10-25

Possible influence of the yeshiva experience on teaching

Before I resumed teaching last Sunday, I had a mixed feeling of worries and expectations. I was worried because I did not teach for a whole year because of the sabbatical I had in the last academic year. I also expected that my yeshiva experience, including Talmud lessons by rabbis and the Talmud study with a partner, would have a positive influence on my style of teaching.

When I was still waiting for my students in the classroom, I still had worries. But the moment I started speaking, all my worries disappeared. I felt as if all the positive energy I had received in the yeshiva but had not used in this specific setting burst out.

As I went to teaching with no more worries, I saw myself getting excited more easily than before. And once I got excited, I spoke both more energetically, that is, with a louder voice and with sharper expressions, and more associatively, that is, by jumping more frequently from topic to topic but without losing the main thread and by asking more spontaneous questions on the spot, than before. I short, I felt as if I were teaching in a style similar to that by one of three teachers at the yeshiva.

I have also noticed that many of the spontaneous questions I ask now in class are more or less of the same type as typical questions the Talmud itself asks and we its learners ask each other when we study it in a traditional manner, that is, in pairs.

This new teaching style of mine, influenced by my one-year yeshiva experience, also helps at least me as a teacher enjoy teaching more, though I do not know how they see the way I teach, whether in relative or absolute terms.