Have you ever wondered why some teachers decide to innovate while others remain in a rut? Have you ever wanted to see how one teacher opens himself to listening more than talking. Then, you’ve come to right place. Meet Dan Hilliard:

Dan Hilliard had been teaching more than ten years. He was good at it; at least that’s what his students told him. They liked his quirky qualities and sense of humor, especially his bad puns. His colleagues respected his ideas in the faculty room and at department meetings. His classroom was arranged much as he found it, desks in neat rows and columns facing his desk and a whiteboard.

He arrived early and left late every day, except Fridays. He prepared well-designed lessons to stimulate his students to question and think and to engage their curiosity. While he would not call himself a lecture-style teacher, he orchestrated discussions, rarely hesitating to jump in to offer elaborate explanations. His students enjoyed his involvement, and they rarely failed to pay attention. Time passed quickly in Mr. Hilliard’s class.

He loved teaching, no doubt about it. He told everyone he looked forward to Mondays. Yet, he yearned for something more, something different. He had tried role-plays and simulations. He knew he was doing his best, but he sensed a longing to move beyond his comfort zone.

For Dan’s full story, see Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting Students to Learn (Stetson Press, 2010), which you can purchase through Amazon.

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