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Showing posts from June, 2015

When Students Reflect, We Are Affirmed, Inspired & Challenged

As we are all aware, reflection is one of the most powerful aspects of learning - especially lifelong and transformational learning. When we are able to connect past and current experiences or knowledge to our overall life’s work and direction, it is both empowering and enlightening.
Recently, I received a tremendous message via social media from a former student named Stephanie who is 10 years out of high school. She was thanking me for the learning experiences she had and how they have impacted her education, career and life. Naturally, it’s tremendously rewarding for educators to receive these types of messages, especially after time has lapsed. I have been very fortunate to have many of these great experiences with former students who are kind enough to contact me and share their reflections. I am blessed to have taught in very student voice and choice oriented environments such as high school journalism/media, students activities/leadership and small school principal. But …

Dear Professor......It's Good You Don't Call Yourself A Teacher

Recently, a college professor of philosophy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake published a message to his incoming freshmen about what they could expect from him when they arrive in his class this fall (see complete article here). He went on a virtual tirade of professional threats/promises centered around the fact that, according to him, he’s not their teacher, but their professor.  Additionally, he painted a picture of K-12 education teaching and learning that is ignorant at best and arrogant at worst. One of his central mantras said, “It is no part of my job to make you learn.  At university, learning is your job - and yours alone.  My job is to lead you to the fountain of knowledge.”

This is problematic on many fronts.   One, the tone is not one of inspiration or of leadership, but rather an arrogant one that is condescending, intimidating and even threatening. Two, it really relieves him of responsibility. In what profession, could one state that the product of their job is co…