Guests in Class

Students often respond better to visiters in a classroom setting. There is something about the teacher you see every day droning on about something that tends to lose its importance for many students. I know it was true for me. Even if the instructor was relatively interesting in the way they presented the material my eyes would often gloss over when they started talking about something else. For some reason I just couldn’t believe them that what they were saying was important was really important. Other times I just got sick of hearing the same person talk or teach in the same way. Guests are an important part of education because they bring a unique perspective to the students and (hopefully) to the teacher as well.

My first real teaching job was as a volunteer at my high school. I had just graduated with a college degree, wanted to go to gradschool and needed to save some money. I lived at home (in my parents’ basement) and worked in the business world at a job I wasn’t particularly fond of. I contacted my old teacher and he allowed me to come in and teach some of his students periodically and also work on the theatrical productions with him. I worked out a schedule that let me leave in the middle of the day on certain days to teach (only to return and work later into the night) and also to get off earlier to make it to rehearsals (by coming in before sunrise). As a guest this cemented for me my desire to be a teacher. I recently had a guest lecturer give a different historical perspective in my class. Soon I’ll be brining in a playwright to talk answer student questions and give a different perspective on what we’ve already learned. The best part of all is that I get to be a student again. Someone else teaches me (though my students do that quite a bit too). Did you respond better to visiting guests when you were in school?