reflection

These posts largely involve my own reflective teaching in some way, shape or form.

Connecting to students through important events

The first students I encountered after the twin towers had been destroyed were on the morning after.  I went into the private language school in Seoul I’d been working at for over a year for a 7AM class, eager to not only connect with my American colleagues, but also gauge the students’ reactions to this tragedy.  How could one go about class like any other day? Would I be met with crying students or angry students or even cheerful students? To my sadness, I was faced largely with indifference.Read More »Connecting to students through important events

Are you ready to jump?

Who said January is the time for change? For us, it’s more often a September calling. Opportunities pop up all around. When the window for change comes, do you teeter on the edge then back in where it’s safe?  This message is for everyone who is comfortably stuck and knows it.Read More »Are you ready to jump?

What’s a staff room to you?

My deskEssentials in my instructor room: a nice desk, a filing cabinet, a computer with internet connection, a printer, and other teachers.This is my desk at the university. Is it important for teachers to be altogether in one office? Does it make more sense to physically separate teachers of one program?  Read More »What’s a staff room to you?

We are models, a post thanks to @MargaretAtwood

We learned. We did learn, in a spirit of vengefulness: we would give Mr. Erskine no excuses.  There was nothing he wanted more than to get a foot on each of our necks–well, he would be denied the pleasure, if possible.  What we really learned from him was how to cheat.  It was difficult to fake the mathematics, but we spent many hours in the late afternoons cribbing up out translations of Ovid from a couple of books in Grandfather’s library–old translation by eminent Victorians, with small print and complicated vocabularies.  We would get the sense of the passage from these books, then substitute other, simpler words, and add a few mistakes, to make it look as if we’d done it ourselves.  Whatever we did, though, Mr. Erskine would slash up our translations with his red pencil and write savage comments in the margins. We didn’t learn much Latin, but we learned a great deal about forgery.“1

Read More »We are models, a post thanks to @MargaretAtwood

Reform Symposium is an important conference model

Most everyone who reads this blog regularly either went to, presented at or knows someone who was involved with the recent 3rd Reform Symposium (RSCON) from July 29 – 31.  Many that don’t populate my local environment.  Why is that?  Because they haven’t gotten past the idea that professional development only validly happens in face-to-face contexts and/or they don’t have time to learn how to navigate the online system.  I don’t blame people for these attitudes: our industry often feeds into it.  That’s why we need RSCON.

Read More »Reform Symposium is an important conference model