Blog post for Thursday 1/20/11 – 6:30 AM, 20 degrees and dark
Today is the first day of the Spring term at L.C.C.C.
It was to have been Tuesday but the weather stepped in and prevented that.
I am looking forward to it.
I have now been a “teacher” for eleven years. At the college, that is.
In several senses I have been a teacher for far longer than that.
In my former career you were often called upon the “show the ropes” to new employees. Even before computer technology learning the nuts and bolts of running a radio station made for a fairly complex task. Plus you had to teach what thing to pound your fist on to make it work, and how hard.
I learned how to teach in the process. How to explain things in the most effective manner. How to gauge and test for understanding.
This also served me well later on when I became a parent, although I think I was better at teaching people not related to me. Still am. Trying to teach the long-suffering wife subtle things about computers is a task fraught with tears and emotion.
Well, I cry.
As far as my lessons to my off-spring, I guess I may have done OK. None of them are in jail. All of them are self-supporting. I love them all. Other people love them. They have done better than I have in every area. I call that a win.
The longer I teach the more I discover that I am really just a guide. I don’t feel that you really serve students well by standing in front of them and force-feeding them facts and make them regurgitate them back in tests. I am lucky enough in that I can gauge learning by metrics other than tests. Assignments, projects and class participation count more in my estimation than the score on a test.
My students will not be shocked by the concept above. I explain it to them on the first day of class every term by using Pavlov and his drooling dog.
I enjoy teaching a lot. Because my other job is now a home-based virtual office I don’t get out so much anymore. Being in the hallways and the classrooms gives me a welcome break from my four walls at home, a break from me, and a chance to talk with some very interesting people.
If I sound positive and all starry-eyed forgive me. Check back with me in May when the term ends and I am ready for a break.
Today’s rant is, like many, weather related. It’s actually from almost exactly one year ago. See if you can spot the song titles woven into the text. I always try to put at least one in. This rant has a few.
Think about the phrase “dead of winter.” There is no phrase like that for summer, fall or spring that I know of. That’s because winter can kill you dead, while those other sissy seasons can’t even maim you.
Oh I know what you are probably saying. Heat can kill too, right? Well maybe in some places but…More