th-7

Dan who you met in earlier blogs is that teacher who wants more. He’s not satisfied with the status quo and thinks that all teachers should think in the same way. Otherwise, students will slip away and figure out life on their own.

Here’s a Reflection about Dan at the end of Chapter 7:

Taking the longer view and exploring the big picture requires time. Unless we are willing to take this step, we may find ourselves becoming obsolete inside a rapidly changing culture. Students wired for digital thinking will reject our efforts to dispense knowledge and skills in the old ways. We need to find our bearings in this new world and bring our intelligence, skills, and wisdom into the classroom.

Dan Hilliard has the insatiable curiosity of Rudyard Kipling’s “elephant’s child.” He asked more questions than anyone in his family. Sometimes, he would ask a second question without waiting to hear the answer to the first. As a teacher, he discovered that this curiosity led him to try new ideas and take risks. Sometimes, he got into trouble. Early in his career he decided to give all students in his “top” section an “A” for the year on the first day of school. He stuck to his commitment despite the chagrin of the guidance counselor.

He has become fascinated by today’s fast-changing culture, particularly as it affects his students. He tries to imagine how he would have grown up in their world.

Can we all become engaged in connecting with the young?

This is one of the many innovative ideas you can find in Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting students to Learn from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Middle-Room-Frank-Thoms/dp/0615358918.

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