Transformational Education > A new way of teaching
Colyer Crum on holding ground as a teacher in the classroom
I had fun teaching. And the reason that I had—was a good teacher has nothing, other than luck, and inborn native skill, I guess. The first class I taught I substituted. One teacher had left the school, and so they needed—they had a couple of openings in the first year teaching group, and so I was asked if I'd like to substitute and teach one class. And I taught a case. And one of the students started making fun of me, as if you ever substitute—teach, you know that the students are quite tough, and they take advantage if they can. So this kid started taking advantage of me, and I sort of hammered him with a couple of jokes. And the rest of the class came over to my side. And at the end of the class I got a big round of applause. And that's really the first class, and I never really took classes on how to teach.
I did observe Charlie Williams, and he was very much interested in a sharp focus on what the case was about, and then thinking through the logic of how to get to an action decision. And I've probably patterned myself after Charlie, but I never really studied the details of teaching.
I did teach a great variety of subjects and things, and a great variety of audiences. And I always thought the most important thing was to get the audience to be interested, to think it was an important topic, and maybe even remember it. So even today, 40, 50 years later, I'm surprised that people come up and talk about individual classes from those days. I find that really remarkable.