Transformational Education > A new way of teaching
John Quelch on returning to the classroom after three years away
Well, re-entry is a very interesting phenomenon. And I don't think that there was a tremendous amount of change in the institution. But where I got it all wrong was in figuring out what I would be rusty at, and what I would still be good at. And I thought that after three years away I would have difficulty picking up the research agenda, but that the teaching would be just fine.
As it turned out, that was completely wrong. Not having been in the classroom on a regular basis for three years, having spent three years in a managerial and leadership role, my teaching was really rusty. And when I say teaching I mean teaching in the sense of the participant-centered learning approach that we use here, where the focus has to be on listening, and learning from the students, and orchestrating the discussion so that the students are talking to each other, rather than looking to the front of the room for the answer. And that took around about a year to recuperate.
Interestingly enough, the research was not a problem. Taking up where I'd left off, in terms of global branding, and so forth. I'd made notes when I was in London of several projects that I was interested in writing up for the Harvard Business Review. And so that part of the equation was much more readily dealt with. But it's funny how, if you don't have the classroom experience on a regular basis, you can really lose the touch.