Friday, September 11, 2015

Consistency, I guess, isn't my strong suit

I was going to blog daily for a month about my new school year. I made it about four days before I forgot to post. Oh well, I never was a very good one for routine.

I finally got into a good lecturing, note-giving groove today, as if that was a positive thing. The presentation I delivered (I also prefer the euphemism "direct instruction" over lecture) was on the circular flow model, a pretty abstract concept that is a foundation for much of the learning for the class. Despite the high tech wizardry of which I'm so proud I had to give some of the presentation on an old chalkboard to my final class after my program stopped recognizing the stylus I was using. I guess that 20th-century educational training came in handy: I can still rock the economic diagrams in chalk.

Two points of pride come to mind as I finish the week: I'm developing a pretty good knack for timing instruction at unconventional times. It would seem strange to save the final 30-45 minutes of class in a week for one of only two direct instruction sessions. But the students seemed attentive, almost happy that I settled into a teacher-directed groove after several days of more loosely structured teaching. I really aim to put the teacher-centered stuff after the student-centered: it's a way to counter the natural tendency to think class is over if the notes precedes the practice.

The other point of pride: Many of my former law students have come to me and told me how much they appreciated the class last year, even saying they miss it. In a few instances, that praise came from students who I didn't think liked the class that much. One girl talked with me for a few moments, and I asked her why she liked the course. After all, in my words, I thought I just got out of it alive. As she put it: it was nice, you didn't make us work too hard.

Really? Did I make you think? 

Oh, definitely.

We're often our own toughest critics. Such is true of my work last spring.

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