Sunday, October 27, 2013

Learning About Teaching From My High School Science Teacher

I spent last weekend at my high school reunion and had the opportunity to talk with Ernie Russ, who taught me Biology and Chemistry. He is now in his 90s. I thanked him for what he taught me about teaching.

For me, here was his biggest lesson. Sometimes, Mr. Russ would attempt to teach us a concept and realize that many of us were failing to understand. He could have simply repeated his words more slowly. Instead, he would say, “Let’s look at this in another way.” Then he would come at the concept with a very different approach and reach more of his students. Even then, I marveled at his ability to shift his teaching approach.

What I learned. When some of my students are not understanding my point, I cannot simply repeat my words more slowly and perhaps hide my frustration. I need to find a different way to present the material. I have to be creative and attuned to the minds of my students.

Thank you, Mr. Russ.


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