Explaining Teaching to Non-Teachers: Context Before Content
I recently went to an informal dinner party where I didn’t know the hosts. We had quite the congenial time, making small talk about children, football, and professional pursuits. When it came out that I was teacher, I realized that I had to say something to address the common assumption that being a teacher sucks, and that it’s nearly impossible to teach well.
I thought, “How do I explain what I’m trying to do, and the revolution I’m a part of, without sounding douchey or esoteric?”
After much mental division by 2, I just said: Lab before lecture.
I was talking to a medical doctor and his wife. The doctor had been through miles of the standard collegiate science curriculum, and acquiesced with me readily. He lamented that most of what he had done in lab was woefully unconnected, and that rarely if ever did it track with what he felt like he had to learn in class.
Put science back in science class.
1: In some sort of freaky self-referencing act, isn’t the word “esoteric” esoteric?