Teaching Philosophy

For better or for worse today’s students primarily view higher education as a means to an end, most often employment. Rarely, if ever, do they regard it as an end in itself. Consequently, and despite how I wish it were otherwise, career relevancy is a top teaching priority for me. That is to say that making connections between students’ vocational interests and the classroom material is paramount. I rely a great deal on my extensive private and public sector professional experience to supply ‘real-world’ examples of how public speaking, organizational communication, and media literacy skills manifest in career settings as well as in good citizenship. As a bonus I have found that by activating these extrinsic motivators  in students they not only apply themselves more rigorously but some come away with a sense that a liberal education has intrinsic value in itself—and that’s my reward.

Student Evaluations:

2011-2012: Mean score: 4.56  Department mean: 4.33

2012-2013: Mean score: 4.50  Department mean: 4.42

Student Feedback:

“Not only is Mr. Baldwin a fabulous Public Speaking professor, but he is also an incredibly likable person. His likable personality and his exceptional people skills made this class thoroughly enjoyable and also made it easier to learn from him. I hope to encounter more professors like him in future college classes.” –Anonymous

“My instructor really prepared me for public speaking even though i (sic) didn’t get the grade i (sic) wanted.” -Anonymous

“Mr. Baldwin comes into class and makes it seem like everything is laid back and appear that the class will be easy. Then you give a speech and the hammer comes down while grading. This class is much more intense and difficult than any other public speaking class.” –Anonymous

“Thank you so much for everything this semester. I still get nervous speaking, but it is sooo (sic) much better than when I started in January. You make class so fun and interesting, while helping us develop tools and skills that will serve us for years to come outside the classroom. I saw there was a purpose in everything we did, and your humor made class super entertaining. Basically, you rock at teaching.” —Name withheld

“This class is going to be very beneficial to my career. I like it just the way it is.” –Anonymous

“A lot of students say that Professor Baldwin grades harsh on some things, but it is because he genuinely wants us to learn how to speak well in public. He knows that this area can be a make or break quality when it comes to getting a job, so he wants to make sure we are really understanding it. Good teacher, kind of difficult class.” –Anonymous

“I really love the circling up. It definitely broke down the awkward walls and got everyone comfortable with each other. I also like the fact that you give constructive criticism instead of just telling us “you’re wrong.” It makes a huge difference when a professor (you) treats us like human beings instead of acting “hollier than thou.” –Anonynous

“I thought I was going to absolutely hate this class but it’s one of my favorites now! Thanks!  –Anonymous

“I liked the relaxed conversational style and the spacing of the speeches. I also liked getting feedback about what I talked about or even helping us with the structure of our speeches before we did them.” -Anonynous

“Awesome, awesome, awesome. Had to work but I learned so much and had so much fun doing it! You rock!” –Anonymous

“Jay is a great teacher. He knows what he is talking about and doing. He really wants his students to become great public speakers and succeed in his class. It is a tough course but he is one of the most helpful and encouraging professors that you could have.” –Anonymous

“Jay is a good teacher. He knows how to connect with the students and has a solid understanding of public speaking. In talking with some other public speaking students who had different teachers, i feel as though while it may have been more difficult, i learned much more than them. Jay wasn’t about taking the easy way out, he expected you to fully prepare for your speeches and if you did, you were rewarded in the grade book. ” –Anonymous

“Was frustrating at first because I was giving it my all and only making high C ‘s and low B’s on speeches, but the class really helped me improve to get A’s on the last few speeches. Also helped me overcome nervousness while speaking, which I never thought I would achieve. Thanks Jay.” –Anonymous


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