First and foremost, I MUST maintain an attitude of deep RESPECT toward my students, the work we are engaged in, and myself. I have seen for myself that when I maintain this mental adjustment, especially in the face of difficulty, that it ALWAYS is the correct way.
Second, I offer the work in the spirit of SHARING. That is, what I say and teach is not “final wisdom” but simply a compilation of what is known; I’m a conduit, not an expert. That said, I invite them to share as well. Perhaps they’ve thought of an angle I haven’t.
LISTENING is the primary skill I bring to the classroom that is essential to create the learning environment. I MUST listen with my entire being to my students. Anything less is an abrogation of my responsibility to them, to the craft, to myself.
Finally, HUMOR is an essential ingredient in my teaching style/philosophy. I find the process of self-education that we and are students are engaged in, while exhilarating, incredibly painful. Let’s face it; it’s a lot of work and it’s constantly uphill, there’s always something else, for them and for us. Humor is what gets me through. I bring that to the classroom. Hopefully, I give them by modeling humor in a learning situation a coping mechanism they can take forward with them in their academic career.