3 Keys to Create Your Powerful Classroom Introduction
As a faculty member, your goal is to engage students, create credibility, and set the tone of the class early in the semester. Introducing yourself to your classroom is an often overlooked or rushed-through part of setting the stage in those first days and weeks of the semester.
However, your personal introduction is an important key to creating a powerful semester.
You might review your academic background, and share a personal anecdote, like “I have 2 great teenage kids” or “I’m obsessed with crossfit” (hoping that would make you “human” and relatable to your students).
But it doesn’t convey your way of being, how it sets you apart as a professor, or how it benefits the class.
Your personal introduction might seem like a formality to get out of the way, but it is critical for engaging students, creating credibility and setting the tone for the rest of the semester.
Recall your experiences with professors who introduced themselves with a boring review of their CV versus a professor that gave you a sense of who they are at their core, and built excitement and insight into how that would shape the whole semester.
If you are not powerful in your introduction, connection isn’t created.
It’s hard to pull students’ attention back in. You also might notice that….
- you don’t feel as grounded while teaching
- your students aren’t fully connected to you, which might impact attendance, and discussions where fewer students are eager to participate
- students may not come to you with questions when they’re stuck
So, what is the key to a powerful introduction?
Professors who create a powerful introduction do 3 things:
- know who they are at their core
- share a personal anecdote or two that proves it, and
- demonstrate how it will impact the course and benefit students
By doing this, they spark curiosity, get buy in from students, create a bond, and set students up for success by knowing how who you are at your core will influence the course design, classroom expectations, and ultimately how it manifests as a benefit to each individual student.
For example, we had a client who originally came to us and said. “I want to be more intentional and make an impact, but the imposter feeling shows up. I want to be clear, and feel that I should be in this role. That I belong, confidently.”
We guided her to discover who she is at her core – what we call her Pillars of Genius™. We then supported her in identifying how they set her apart, and how they benefitted her students, colleagues, department, and institution.
Shortly after getting rock-solid crystal clear on her Pillars of Genius™, she walked into her first day of class with a sticky note that listed her four Pillars of Genius™, and set the tone by introducing each one, sharing a personal anecdote to illustrate it, and then focussed on how it will specifically shape the rest of the semester and benefit each student in the class.
When I saw her in our program’s weekly Q&A the next week, she looked like a different person.
She was glowing and said:
“that was the most powerful I have ever felt on my first day of class!!”
She could articulate – naturally and with ease, power, and clarity – who she is at her core with rock-solid certainty.
She knew exactly how it benefitted her students, and the course.
She could articulate how – in a tangible way – it will impact the culture of the classroom, the expectations, and the assignments.
She also said that students came to visit her in her office, and referred back to elements she shared about herself. She knew it was because she was so clear on who she is and how it benefits her classroom.
The result is, deeper connection with her students, and a semester that’s set up for success.
I hope you will consider using who you are at your core, as a foundation for introducing yourself to your classroom in these first days and weeks of the semester.
If you are not clear, and want to have rock-solid clarity about who you are at your core, and be able to articulate it as a benefit to your students, classroom, department, and institution, book a Free Breakthrough Call
On the call, we will get to the source of what is blocking you from crystal clarity, and see what is the right action to take next to solve that issue.
The call is 100% free, and there is no catch.
But, it’s not for everyone.
The call is for tenured and tenure track faculty members who:
- want to focus your time to be aligned with what you’re good at, what your values are, and your authentic self
- want to clearly and powerfully articulate who you uniquely are, in a way that is a contribution and benefit to your department, university, and discipline.
- are tired of trying to “get clear” on your own, and you want this clarity now.
- are action takers. You push through and get the job done.