The Therapist and the Confidant: Optional / Required for Teachers

The effective confidant will help you to find your sense of humor and prop you up a little when you need it – and is ready to assess solutions and interventions. If your rapport is strong, s/he will know when you need a little “tough love,” and when it’s time for that, will offer it like a cool drink from a garden hose. Not a firehose.

Design Thinking at the Nursing Home: (or “how to end the year with a ‘WOW!’)

Design thinking: empathy for the context of a problem + creativity in the generation of insights and solutions + and rationality in analyzing and fitting various solutions to the problem context. (Wikipedia: Design Thinking) The last 3 months of class combined Design Thinking with Compassionate Listening — see the story, in comic form, below. Real […]

Curation is the New Discussion: Part 1

Picture it: You ask a question; on a good day, hands raise. Three or four students speak in turn. You rephrase or echo the students’ ideas. If the class is enthusiastic, there is jockeying for attention, hands waving wildly. If the class is lethargic, you cajole for more hands. You get an answer or two and move on. Was the discussion successful? […]

Design Thinking in the Jewish Studies Classroom

“Design Thinking” is at once delightfully simple and deliciously complex. Simple: rather than learn by reading or writing, students learn by complaining, dreaming, planning, researching, prototyping, pitching, critiquing, revising, and reflecting. Complex: exactly. Each of these phases is its own world of inquiry, practice, and expertise. What I love about Design Thinking is that while […]

Better to Look Good than to Feel Good?

When you enter a classroom to teach, the students aren’t the only ones watching. I’m not talking about the principal, watching through the window, making a skeptical face and then jotting something on her clipboard – although that sounds horrible, and I’m sorry if Ms. Fictional-Principal makes these rounds to your classroom. The other person watching is, […]