Michelle Troche, Ph.D., believes learning happens best in an environment where the teacher and student feel comfortable with each other and they share an interest in the material being taught.
“I am lucky to teach things that I am truly passionate about, so the simple fact that I get to share that with my students is the most rewarding thing,” said Troche, an assistant professor in the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences. “I am always excited to find ways to spark that interest and passion in my students.”
For excellence, innovation and effectiveness in teaching, Troche was named the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ 2013 Teacher of the Year. She teaches courses in clinical disorders of speech and anatomy and physiology. She has taught and mentored students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“It is my goal as a teacher to have students be able to critically assess and creatively discuss topics surrounding course material,” she said. “And my hope is that this learning process takes place in an environment where learning is fun, therefore, spawning an interest in further self-exploration into the topics being taught.”
Troche’s teaching philosophy values dynamic, interactive learning that challenges her students.
“While her expectations of students are high, she always provides support for students to rise to the occasion,” said one of Troche’s students.
As a three-time University of Florida graduate with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication sciences and disorders, Troche interacted with many “amazing professors” at UF who taught her important lessons about teaching she has carried into her own classroom.
“What I have most clearly learned from them (past professors) is that there is no one good way of teaching,” she said. “As long as you are engaging your students in a way natural to you, you are caring and open minded towards your students, and are passionate and have a firm grasp of the concepts you teach, then you will be a successful teacher and professor.”