Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Teaching Tip #46

Teacherscribes Teaching Tip #46

Dukes president Richard Brodhead in an interview with his freshmen dean of students.  He asked the key question of his dean: What do you tell students who inevitably come to you who are struggling.

The deans answer was brilliant, he said simply, I tell them to ask a friend or a roommate what class is their absolute favorite.  Then I tell the student to take a class by that professor.

His reasoning is that regardless of whether the class is in your major or not, that class is loved because the professor has charisma or passion that makes every student in there come alive with wonder.

How is that bad?

In fact, what often happens is that the student will pop in that class.  In other words, they will be turned on to learning and engaged, so they will naturally begin to enjoy and pop in other classes.  He used the metaphor of a microwave set to pop popcorn.  Its that moment when the popcorn is heated to the point of popping.

So the question is - are you one of those teachers who makes students pop?

I guess this is the variation of the question I ask myself every morning for motivation - if students could go to any classroom - regardless of their schedule or classes - where they feel motivated and inspired and listened to and part of a supportive culture, would I have any students in my room?

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