THE TOBIN EFFECT
By Micah Mills '16 | Vol. I Issue 2
Walking into my first day of class of my college career, I was shaky in the knees and really wasn’t sure what to expect.
College was a place I’d been thinking about for years. I had an echo of my high school teachers’ voices ringing in my head that no teacher would care to know my name or care about my well-being. They told me I would just be a number lost in the shuffle of a big university.
As a senior at Texas A&M University with 91 credit hours under my belt, I have spent more than my fair share of time on campus, and I can assure you that these are all myths.
These common college misconceptions were shattered for me by one academic advisor, instructor and Mr. Rogers look-alike, Tobin Redwine. Every day he breaks these misconceptions inside and outside the classroom. He uses his unique teaching methods as a way for students to connect with education.
"I like to help people share their story," Redwine said. Redwine, who teaches and advises in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, Education and Communications, finds an extraordinary way to help people discover their own unique stories. His teaching style has him bringing his guitar, toy accordion, jokes and games to the classroom every day.
Students often characterize Redwine as enthusiastic and intense. He has a passion for photography, people and communicating agriculture’s story. While some professors teach through lectures, PowerPoints and textbooks, Redwine is most concerned with keeping students engaged and encouraging development using unconventional teaching methods.
One of his students, senior agricultural leadership and development major Kaleb McLaurin, deems his teaching style "The Tobin Effect."
Redwine says he wants to teach in a surprising and different way. "If I can play the guitar, toy accordion…get you to do an activity with another student that stimulates learning or makes you laugh, that is a good thing," Redwine said. "I think it builds retention and it is just more fun."
College is a place where you can figure out your narrative, and teachers like Redwine, who care about their students’ success and want them to grow and learn about themselves and the world around them, are abundant on this campus. This is one of the reasons Redwine advocates all students get to know their peers, professors and advisors.
"They [professors] are genuine people and real people, and I think that is what makes A&M a good and unique place," Redwine said. "We share core values, but we share those values with different perspectives."
Looking back on that day I walked into Redwine’s class, those echoes of my teachers from the past have vanished. Redwine and many other instructors, professors and teaching assistants have shown me that learning can be fun, interactive and meaningful. Know that at Texas A&M, they will know your name, you are more than a number and they do care.