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What Are We About?

June 19, 2012

Welcome to Teaching/Management!  Let me introduce you to what we’re about, what we’re trying to accomplish, and what you can expect to find, learn, and do here on the blog.

Here’s the reality: Teachers have to be managers, and managers have to be teachers.  Managers need to help their people learn new skills, identify what needs to be done and how to do it, mentor and advise their employees, and introduce them to new projects and plans.  Meanwhile, teachers and professors spend their days managing time, people, and information, building teams to create original work, and leading meetings and discussions both in person and online.

So there’s no question that teachers and managers can learn from each other to do their jobs better.  But what if they don’t have the skills?  And maybe more to the point, what if the two universes–the academic and the business worlds–never or rarely teach one another or share what each has to offer?  That is what this blog is and will be about: bridging the unnecessary and limiting divide between the worlds of teaching and management.

We’ll be posting five kinds of helpful stories here:

“Crossover Ideas” posts will be dialogues between teaching and management.  In most of these, we’ll describe an idea or skill used by either teachers or managers, then suggest ways it can be used by the other group.  We’ll start early on with some basic concepts (assessment and evaluation for managers, team management for teachers), then branch out.  These will be divided up into “Teaching for Managers” and “Management for Teachers” categories, but there will obviously be a lot of overlap.

“Reviews and Research” posts will offer brief summaries of books, websites, and other resources that we feel are particularly valuable to teachers and/or managers.  These need not be new, and if you have heard about or read a book or site that you’d like to see reviewed, let us know!

“Interviews” will be just what the name suggests: interviews with teachers, managers, and others who use these skills in their jobs.  This site is about doing your job well and, more importantly, about improving teaching and educating for all people, whether or not their job description includes the word “teacher.”  Interviews will be with those people we think can help us achieve this mission.

“Guest Blogger” posts will be written by people other than the author of this blog, managers and teachers who have a lot to add to our discussion.

And finally, “Psychology, Science, and Experimentation” posts will bring my personal love of, and interest in, psychology, neurobiology, and the scientific method into our discussions.  In my own ten-plus years of teaching experience, as well as my work as a teacher trainer and recruiter, mentor and advisor, and founder and manager of a grad student group that brings speakers from across the university and the state and offers regular workshops in teaching and self-management skills, I have found my knowledge of the underlying neuroscience and psychology of learning to be one of my most valuable assets.  And the scientific method, with its approach to disciplined experimentation, has been the basis for a revolution in my own teaching and managing, and I will be sharing some of that evolving change with you.

I will be putting up the first real post very soon.  Welcome to Teaching/Management–I hope you’ll share your ideas, experiences, and experiments as teachers and managers with me and make this a place to build a real dialogue among educators from all areas of business and academic life.

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3 Comments
  1. pseudomantic permalink

    Hello! Firstly, thanks for following my blog – hope you find some useful stuff there!

    I like the sound of what this blog’s about. Considering other applications for skills learned in one position is a useful and important tool. I’m neither a teacher nor a manager but I look forward to learning some stuff, especially from the science, psychology and experimentation posts – your scientific interests (psychology, neuroscience etc) are pretty keen interests of mine as well.

    Cheers – Chris

    • Thanks for checking out the blog. As you can see, I’m just getting started, but I’m hoping to keep up my post-a-day schedule. I’ll be posting more about _The Art of Changing the Brain_, one of the best neuroscience-based teaching books ever, soon. I could see in your blog that you’re doing a lot of the same stuff–in some ways, working out the same issues of management, and psychology, and creativity, only on yourself. I’m a big advocate of self-teaching, so I will be following what you’re up to with interest.

      • pseudomantic permalink

        A good plan. I’ve found the calendar widget helpful for daily posting – a simple visual reminder of missed posts!

        That sounds like an interesting book, I’m keen to see some posts about it.

        I’m just getting started too, in a way. The blog’s been around for a while but I’ve only been posting regularly since June 1st. I’m trying to clarify some ideas in my mind by blogging about them at the moment, but I hope to make the posts more actionable in the future so readers can (hopefully) take something from the ideas mentioned and apply it to themselves.

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