One session I attended really expanded my thinking, not about a specific strategy or technique, but with a bigger picture idea. Oren Hertz from Johnson and Wales University began his presentation on leverage hybrid courses to promote higher level thinking by referencing a TED Talk from Simon Sinek on “finding your why.” Do yourself a favor and take 18 minutes to watch the video below.
How to Reset to Focus on the Why
This summer, I’m going to give considerable thought to my why. I plan to focus on the value that the course content and experiences can provide for my future teachers. How will what I’m teaching them help them to be more effective in the classroom. How might the experiences and activities help them to meet the needs of their students and improve their learning? How will my course help them to tap into their creative energy in teaching? I think this strategy of focusing on value may help me to find my why.
Once I put my finger on the why, I’m going to make sure that this why is foregrounded in the syllabus, in the way I launch the class and in the kinds of learning experiences I create. This seems much more engaging than starting right off with the practical aspects of the course – reviewing the syllabus, discussing major assignments, etc. I hope that by finding and centering on the why, I will not only create a better learning experience for my students, but also reignite my own passion and purpose for my course.
If this idea of finding your why in teaching is something you have or will be exploring, please share it in the comments below.