Monthly Archives: February 2009

What Will You Do Differently?

One of the things I do at the end of my training classes is hand out a post assessment. Instead of asking what faculty and staff participants think of me as an instructor, I ask what they feel they are taking away with them as a result of attending the class. The goal is to measure learning, not my level of popularity (participants can and still do tell me what they think of my teaching). You may know that I am a fan of Stephen Brookfield, and my post-assessment form is based upon a chapter in his book, The Skillful Teacher, on improving lectures. I would like to apply this to our Teaching Blog. Please comment with your response to one or more of the following questions:

What point(s) made in any of the posts or comments thus far stand(s) out most to you?

What do you know now that you did not know before?

What will you do differently now as a result of participating in the Teaching Blog? (I am defining “participating” broadly – reading, commenting on, or writing posts.)

What issues have been raised that need further discussion or most need addressing by the College?

Posted in Students' Skills and Abilities, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We Were Nerds Once…and Young

(with apologies to Hal Moore and Joe Galloway, authors of We Were Soldiers Once…and Young)

Many of us (I suspect most of us) were nerds when we were young students, or we at least shaded well into the fringes of nerdiness. We studied, we memorized, we solved quadratic equations in our heads while waiting for buses, or recited as much Shakespeare as we could recall. We got excited by the sheer arcaneness of things. We were on the road to a life in academia long before we even grew aware of the track beneath our feet. And the folks who were most willing to put up with us were probably nerds as well. That is, most of us spent much of our time in those days in the company of people who were busy imagining their Nobel addresses or memorizing the score of Parsifal. These were students who read for fun, who remembered what they read, and who were eager to talk about it.

Why do I summon up this remote and vaguely uncomfortable history? Because I find myself bemused when I hear colleagues talking about what it was like back when they were students. “Well, when I was in college, we….” Or, “When we were students, we were so much more….” You’ve heard these raps, I’m sure. They’re like all stories of a vanished golden age, when life was so much tougher and as a consequence everyone was imbued with so much more virtue. Today’s students, unlike those of generations past, we’re told, don’t do the reading, don’t want to discuss, aren’t interested in the ideas, etc., ad nauseam.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments