Starting is scary. Ah, the unparalleled terror of a blank page. No matter how often I write, the white chasm of a blank page still fills me with fear. The freshman in my college composition classes often share that same dread. The divide between teacher and student is rarely as great as we think.
It is with that kind of universal experience in mind that I created this website. Students get bored. So do teachers. Teachers get excited. So do students. Yet we often seem pitted against one another, as though our needs and interests are at cross-purposes. What if, I wondered, I could find ways to get educators and students on the same team? Education is not, after all, a zero-sum game, in which teachers “win” only if students feel lost and miserable (or in which students “win” only if teachers feel utterly defeated).
On the regular, I will be posting teaching techniques and lesson plans that take into consideration the educator’s need to convey meaning, provoke thought, and strengthen skills, as well as the student’s need to understand concepts, ask questions, and apply skills. But let me be clear: Those considerations won’t mean squat if I don’t respect the precious time of both teachers and students. No matter how innovative or enticing a lesson might be, that lesson will never see the fluorescent light of the classroom if it requires a week’s worth of prep and a small fortune worth of materials.
It’s an amazing time to be working and learning on a college campus. And, sure, sometimes “amazing” means something good, and other times it describes that strange new emotion you feel while watching a gaggle of young folk puff on cherry-flavored vapes. But good and strange and new can, in fact, coexist. I’ve already posted one strange, new, and (I hope) good teaching technique under my Teaching Tools tab (go, alliteration!). Check back in a few days, when I hope to share more suggestions, from homework exercises to semester-long projects.
Your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome! Head over to the Contact page and drop me a line.