Which Way Does Your Desk Face? Early in my tenure as a medical neuroscience course director, I started receiving comments on student evaluations stating that I was “unapproachable”. For the ten years prior to becoming the course director I taught full-time in the gross anatomy course and gave lectures in the medical neuroscience, histology and embryology courses. This amounted to over 130 student contact hours per year, during which time I had not received negative comments concerning “approachability”. At the start of my third year as the medical neuroscience course director, I asked Dr. P- rick Tank, who was, and still is, the gross anatomy course director, why I was g- ting such comments. He looked up at me while I was standing in his office do- way and simply said, “Which way does your desk face?” He then explained to me how he had arranged his office so that when he sat at his desk he faced the door to give students his immediate attention when they came to see him. My desk and chair faced the window, putting my back to the students. He stated that while my office arrangement avoided annoying refl- tions on my computer monitor, it sent an unintended message to the students that I did not consider them a priority. Once I moved my desk so that my chair faced the door the perception of me as being unapproachable was resolved.
Education-Teaching, Schools-Teaching, Education-Theory, Educational-Psychology,