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I actually had a professor in a graduate course once tell a group of practicing educators, Whatever you do, dont teach the way I do. Im too old to change my ways now. His classes were 3 hours of reading to us from his notes interspersed with stories from his experience.

The notes were useful, though I could have gotten more out of them just by having a printed copy to read. The stories were interesting and somewhat valuable, though I only really remember a few of the more interesting ones. The real learning took place when we did the assignments--he had a knack for devising brilliant prompts and scenarios for us to dig through. They tended to be very traditional research papers, but the questions he asked in the assignments were deep and required more than just regurgitation of the course material.

If only he had brought these kinds of questions into the classroom and allowed us to interact with him and the material, what I could have gained from it!

Keep taking the time, Scott. There is no way--ever--to adequately cover everything that needs to be covered in any course or class. I think all educators need to quit trying. Instead, do what youre doing and provide experiences, problems, challenges and let the students struggle through. The learning happens in the work, even if some of the content gets left behind.

Dan Meyer

Ain't that the ongoing dilemma throughout education, how to best use time. It never wears me out seeing an educator struggle with that, uh, important ratio between instructional value and time, 'cause it means they believe student time is valuable.

Charlie A. Roy

As a relatively new administrator the practice mock exercises I went through in my graduate program (Bradley University) were very helpful to me when it came to actually doing the job. A great strategy and the more life like you can make it the better.

Justin B.

Sounds like a great assignment Mark (I think I am teaching personnel next spring for the first time so I might have to hit you up for resources on this assignment). I love that you went to the law school and used the courtroom. Something about the seriousness of that room that really gets people's attention and puts them on the spot.

The Principal Guy

Great post. I agree. As someone with a doctorate in school administration I would say that the courses that actually proved valuable in my position as Principal were the ones that had a role-playing aspect to them. Book knowledge has its place in a comprehensive administrative program but it should be supplemented by a practical application component.


Mark, nice job of acknowledging that there are both the knowledge of facts necessary to do the job and another set of skills to perform the deeds necessary.

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