Long winter days, will soon be coming to an end, and baseball fields all throughout the country will be filled with aspirations and dreams of what could be. This excitement brewing, is not just about baseball, but of a fresh start.
I think that John Fogerty might have put it best, in the opening lines of his song Centerfield, when he said, “Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today! We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.” Each semester, we are all “Born Again” students and instructors alike. In case you are not familiar with the song, you can play it, while hopefully reading the rest of the blog post! Regardless of what bad might have happened last semester, everyone will get an opportunity to start over.
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field
Passion to Inspire
As an instructor, my excitement is unbridled! I am always looking for opportunities and activities to inspire. I will share a few here:
- Share my passion with my students – Like most of us, it is an opportunity to share our passion, and with this passion inspire. Our passion can not be fake. Students will see right through it. Although we might have struggles with certain materials, we must strive to find ways to make our materials interesting, exciting and most of all important.
- Hand over some control – I often give classroom assessments to my students to brainstorm ways to improve my classes. With these CATS, the students give me feedback on what they enjoy about the class, what helps them learn, and how they would integrate these into the class lessons.
- Know my students individually and collectively – Creating an early, individual connection with my students, will help with student trust and persistence. Sometimes we might be the only connection that they have.
- Expect Outrageous Success from your Students – One thing that I am going to try this semester, is something that Benjamin Zander does with his students. This conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, and celebrated music teacher has a unique strategy for getting the best out of his students. On the first day of class, he tells the his first year students that they all get an A. There’s one condition. Their first assignment is to write a letter to him – dated on the last day of class – explaining why they deserved the grade. Zander believes that they do more to earn their own personal A than they would ever do for the traditional A given by a teacher.
Passion can be like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill, quickly gaining mass and momentum. Very quickly, a few snowflakes will build into an avalanche of energy and enthusiasm. In closing, we have the opportunity to do something great! Put me in coach, I am ready to play, TODAY!