“I’ll start, as we academics so love to do, with a little bit of theory — specifically, four core principles that can help shape your planning for the first day of your course. Next, I’ll cover the logistics of a successful first day, including managing the space and technology as well as getting to know your students. To show you how to put the principles and the logistics into practice, I will provide examples of what a good set of first-day activities might look like in four disciplines. I’ll finish with some suggestions for how to support the good work you have done on the first day with some follow-up activities.”
“Avoid Flow. Do What Does Not Come Easy. “The mistake most weak pianists make is playing, not practicing. If you walk into a music hall at a local university, you’ll hear people ‘playing’ by running through their pieces. This is a huge mistake. Strong pianists drill the most difficult parts of their music, rarely, if ever playing through their pieces in entirety.”
“Gathering in small groups around folding tables laden with 250-year-old maps, pamphlets, and images, the teachers thought aloud about what the documents could tell their students—and what questions the pages couldn’t answer.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson