I went to the Great College seminar this past week. Tuesday night to Friday lunch. It was good! Met some great people from all walks of college life. The purpose appeared to be to openly discuss problems and solutions in a candid, respectful, POSITIVE environment. The positive nature of the seminar worked quite well. At first, I believe all of us were a little unsure how to relate to each other. Having a beer with the VP of Finance is a little intimidating before you know her. It made for a rather tight first evening. Luckily, that evaporated early and made for a relaxed fun atmosphere.
I was able to speak directly about a complex problem I have in front of the VP of HR and the President. It’s not often you get that chance in a large organization like ours. I have to admit to being surprised by our president’s compassion and sincere offer of advice. He’s a good guy.
Apart from some new friendships, I came away from the conference with a slightly altered view of the students who fail. An Academic Chair from the access department had a very unique view on teaching that truly opened my mind to a different approach.
Different but not that different. What Kit said affirmed something I do in my first web design course. It’s probably the hardest course because coding is so different from all of their other classes. I tell them “Welcome to the marines. We will leave no one behind.” Which works! I think. But, Kit’s idea made me think perhaps I could do the same thing with all of my classes. The students still need to actually do the work, of course.