Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rules of Teaching

Today, I start my ninth year of being a professor.  It is hard to believe that it has really been that long.  It feels like it was just yesterday when I got my PhD and thought I knew something.  Trust me that today I am no longer under such delusions.

In looking back and now moving forward, my classes look nothing like that did nine years ago. Today, they are much less, "me talk - you listen" and much more "lets explore and see what we all learn as a result."  My whole teaching philosophy has evolved over time and continues to do so.  In that vein, I thought that today, I would share my rules of teaching today with you...

  1. Start lessons with a relevant question/problem.  Set up the 'so what' so that students can understand why you are delivering the lesson.  It is about creating context in their minds.
  2. Set up the class in an explore, demonstrate and apply model.  
  3. Conversations work better than telling.  When I am told something I am more likely to forget, ignore or half understand the message.  When I gain knowledge in a conversation I tend to retain it because I had to connect the dots myself and understand the logic behind the thoughts.  Remember the key to a conversation is that it is a two way street.  You have to listen as much as you talk.
  4. Smile.  Life is so much better for yourself and your students when you engage with the materials.
  5. Be constructive.  No one likes to be told their wrong but sometimes we all need to be guided towards a better understanding of an issue.  I go in with the approach of helping students to understand where the error was made and providing tools to help them improve their performance
  6. Always treat students with the utmost respect and dignity.  It is amazing how treating people well usually turns into them treating you well.  
  7. Be open to learning and new ideas yourself.  Students have often taught me a lot to which I am eternally thankful.
  8. Always end a lesson by going back to the original question/problem which began it.  Let students see how their ability to address the question has improved.  It also allows you to guide a sense of how well you did your job.

Once again, these rules like everything else are subject to evolution and change with the times.  Good luck to all with the new school year!  May we all learn and flourish during it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

2013 NC and SC Festivals and Events Planner Survey Results

Friday Fragments

Thanks to Mrs. 4444's for hosting the frags.
  • Is there a prayer for plumbers.  We have a plumber coming today and I am hoping the cost will just nearly stay close to painful rather than catastrophic.
    • On a related note: We laid out $700 for a car repair last week and I had two work trips that have not been reimbursed yet.  Perhaps I should sit out on campus with a tin cup this week.
  • Another round if illness is moving through our house.  With me teaching at a university, Robyn in high school, Liam in elementary school and Erik in pre-school our house may as well be a germ incubator.
    • Half-Past Kissin' Time
    • On a related note: This has put me well behind in my work leading to an increased level of stress.  This is just an extra kind of bonus don't you know.
  • Even with the first two points, I have a conversation with a friend about happiness.  She asked why even with things are crappy that I seem to be happy.  My answer is that I am not really happy per se but rather work hard to keep myself in a state of being moderately contented.  Nothing is too bad, nothing is too good.  This is the lesson I learnt in my favorite class in undergrad Buddhist philosophy. The middle path is the true way to Nirvana.
    • Does that mean I am unemotional?  Of course not, I am human (even though I'd love to be Vulcan),  but when I do get overly emotional I work on getting back to an even keel.  
  • If you want to see what I presented this week, I will be posting them on Acting Balanced and Touristic either today or tomorrow.  So if you are interested in How Sponsors Choose You or the 2013 Festival Trends for the Carolina's drop on by later on.
    • On a related note: Because I know you all love statistics!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge...

1. What lesson has failure taught you?

To not make the same mistake again...:-)   I don't like to fail but I have learned more from my screw ups than I have from my successes.

2. What decision are you glad you made?

To move to Charleston is a great one that we made.  We both love the lifestyle that the city provides.  It really is an incredible place.

3. I've been a little bit surprised to see fully lit and decorated Christmas trees popping up for the past several weeks in friend's Instagram feeds. So tell the truth-is your tree up and decorated, and if so when did that happen? If not, when will you be decking the halls?

I am not a big Christmas fan.  I would rather avoid the whole thing but with three kids, I kinda have to do it.  We will probably put up the tree December 22nd or so.  Heather should be returning from her Canadian sojourn with my parents - so we can do it then.

4. Solitaire-Poker-Rummy-Hearts-Go Fish-Old Maid...which game of cards would you most like to join? 

I don't necessarily like cards either but I will play Poker as a social element.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of a Facebook friend, who once upon a time had a blog...When you're feeling stressed do you snack a lot or are you more the 'can't eat' type?

As my waistline can attest, I do tend to eat more.

6.  Have you ever reviewed a product or service on line? Was your review favorable or less than favorable? 

Heather does reviews all the time.  I on the other hand very rarely do so.  Though I do write text book reviews for journals.  They do tend to be extensive and contain suggestions for improvements.

7. What was the best conversation you had yesterday? 

I did a talk on my future trends in hospitality and tourism.  I will post the slides here tomorrow...

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are going to be adding some new additions to the blog in the New Year.  First and foremost we will have a new look.   Further, we will be adding a couple of new features.  Heather and I will also be making a point of writing more together.   If you have any suggestions as to what you would like to see let us know...

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I have not done Listicles in a couple of weeks, so I had some time and decided: Why not?  Thanks to Stasha for hosting.  This week's topic is:


5.  The obvious answer is Les Stroud...come on' he is called Survivorman for a reason.

4.  Choices, choices...Pam Anderson or Christina Hendricks?

3.  How about both (especially if it is clothing optional)?

2.  Jeff Probst - so he can tell me I am voted off...

1.  Bear Grylls...come on - he can make a wetsuit out of a seal.  

Monday, August 12, 2013


Heather and I are trying an experiment where we are sharing blog space.  So, I will be posting at www.actingbalanced.com most of the time.  I will still post here on occasion but it will be more of my academic and/or professional content.