My Legacy

I think that I did the greatest thing that I am ever going to do as an educator. We just moved into a newly renovated building, almost all of the classrooms are new, and four of the five departments in the building are new to the building.

The new classrooms were originally arranged by the furniture people in long rows, all facing the front of the classroom. On the first day of class, I rearranged the tables so that they are in islands of four students. I sent pictures to the custodial staff to show them what the default should be. The old arrangement is really only good for lecture; this new arrangement works for both lecture and group work. My hope is that this is going to make professors more likely to do non-lecture activities in class. I am really proud of this, and I doubt that I will do anything that helps professors do active learning more than this. One of my new neighbors in the building is Economics, and I am embracing their teachings.

(This was not a total success. One of the classes that I teach in keeps getting re-set in the lecture style. I find this particularly frustrating because this requires that the tables run directly into the whiteboards on the sides of the room, rendering them useless. This project was mostly successful, though).

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