If the first three days are any indication, this will be an excellent, interesting semester where I will learn much, be challenged often, and laugh every day. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
I tried something new in my Applied level class on Tuesday. First day, I gave them an assignment. An assignment that counts. In fact, an assignment that I knew would be difficult for them, an oral presentation. Most often, these are the most difficult of assignments to get the Applied level to do. This goes mostly to the nature of the students, but also to the confidence it takes to stand and deliver in front of a group of your peers. So, I decided, we’re starting with it. No ice breakers, team-builders, nothing. I gave them 15 minutes to prepare their oral presentations and then one by one they took to the front of the room and presented. Now the structure was simple. They had 32 seconds to tell us something. They had to show enthusiasm. I told them that, yes, it counted and frankly, this was their first impression of them as a student.
And they killed it. It was excellent.
At this point, they hadn’t built the roles they will play in the class yet, in fact, they hadn’t been introduced to each other.
Thirty two seconds is long enough to say something, but short enough that it doesn’t get awkward for those that struggle.
Most importantly, I chose to start with this oral presentation assignment because now they know, no one gets a zero. We strive to “be great” and now there are no excuses. We have established that they have all completed an assignment and that they have all, so far, achieved success.
So, first day, everyone’s passing. Everyone is successful. Now, I’ve also learned something about them, they’ve put themselves out there and they are able to immediately see how I give feedback. Honest and to the point.
With this they are on the road to success and we’re off…
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