“I’m not an Actor!”

I recently had a conversation with another law teacher about teaching as entertainment. There is sometimes a suspicion that teachers that are engaging are teaching classes that are ‘content lite’ and that they lack the intellectual rigour of more traditionally delivered subjects.

This article though approaches the issue from a slightly different perspective. If a lecture is content rich but delivered in a dull monotone that lulls law students to sleep, is it teaching anything at all? Engaging teaching and intellectual content are not entirely separate objectives – they can both happen (and must happen) at the same time for teaching to be effective.


Professor Hal Wicke
Assistant Professor
Deputy Chair, Department of Speech and Communication
New York School of Career and Applied Studies, Touro College

Many years ago, a math instructor asked me to help her with teaching style. She was concerned that she was not an interesting teacher to her students. At the time, I was head of the school’s arts program, responsible for the theatre courses and productions. I took her seriously and asked her what she wanted from my coaching. She said she was concerned that her explanations of how to do math problems were not interesting to the students. She wanted to know how she could be more exciting and charismatic.

I suggested that she might begin working on her breathing which was shallow and choppy. We worked on slowing down her breathing and emitting a sound which was low and continuous. Then I asked to explain a…

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