I recall Carl Fowler and Willard Machen from Amarillo College who came to the Great Teaching Roundup absolutely burned out, ready to retire. They had a great experience and after the event their VP for Instruction called me and asked, "What did you do to those guys? They are absolutely live wires. I can't shut them up!" I responded, "Well, we got in the hot tub, drank some beer, talked about teaching and students and good things to try, about being important and what might happen next, etc.". These two were inspired to found the Amarillo College Great Teacher Seminar and they became lead facilitators.
Teachers experience once again the fun of learning and as they model the excitement of discovery they get back into the feeling of being a student, a learner. Al Bassinger from Angelina College organized a bird-watching tour for participants during recreation time. So we created new bird-watchers. A disabled teacher from Austin Community College rode his first horse; we got him on top for good. He was all smiles. We had poetry reading by Ed, the ranch's wrangler who read us his classic poem, "I Hate Gates" about being a kid on the ranch and having to open and close gates at this father's command, over and over getting in and out of the pickup. We proved that some of us have no talent, with our "Non-Talent, Talent Show". I recall geology teacher, Chuck Buddenhagen, showing us how to find fossils and 250-million-year-old fossil oysters in the Central Texas Hill Country. Over the years staff member, Bruce Sublett, learned how to play a guitar and sing. He was pretty bad at the beginning, but really developed into something. A couple of years ago, we decided that he had earned to right to turn on his amplifier. Good stuff. Such things are characteristic of the informal learning that goes on in addition to substantial formal learning at the Master Teacher Seminar.
At the beginning of this module, we planned to help you learn some things about how to conduct a Master Teacher Seminar, like The Great Teaching Roundup. Let's repeat what we set out to learn:
Send suggestions, comments, and improvements to Don Bass: [email protected]