Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Small Stuff that Matters: Ditch the Microphone

A small Sunday morning mini-rant.  When I go into classrooms that only have 30 or 40 desks filling up the entire space, there is always a microphone that has been put to obvious use.  Like it's actually sitting on the podium or something like that.  It always makes me wonder why.  Who actually has such a small voice that they can't project it enough for a class of 30 people?  Does anyone actually just stand at the podium and lecture the entire time?  Does anyone actually like holding a microphone for 75 minutes?  Most importantly, do students actually LIKE listening to a voice that is microphone projected, with a low-quality sound system and crappy microphone? 

It's all just so strange to me.  I've never used a microphone, even with classes of 40 or 50.  But, maybe my style is just kind of different.  I INSIST on absolute silence if I'm talking because I refuse to yell over the students.  I quite rarely write down things like answers to questions in the book so students ACTUALLY have to listen to what I'm saying in order to get the information that they need.  I also INSIST that students sit in the first few rows if it is a really large classroom, without a bunch of empty space because I refuse to yell over them.  I also tell them that I will never use a microphone so if their hearing is poor, they really should sit at the front of the classroom.

Anyway, isn't part of the job of "professor" at a university to be at least decent at public speaking?  The microphone/podium warrior just doesn't seem to cut it, in my world.


1 comment:

Jerantut Cluster said...

Droning on into a microphone - classic teacher-centred behaviour!