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At Warner, a lot of the time is spentĀ sitting in classrooms, doing whatever it is that needs to be done. It’s often difficult to retain what we did, because I’m usually just fixated on how much I don’t want to sit in the same chair for 3-4 hours. But we are constantly being pushed to come up with active ways for our placements and what we will utilize in the future when we are employed as educators. I consider myself to be a student who has the same needs as any learner would – needs to be interesting, needs to be engaging, and needs to be relevant in order for me to get anything out of a lesson. But many classes at Warner do not employ such practicality – what’s up with that?

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Let me start with the following disclaimer: I am 110% appreciative of my Warner education. I love the University of Rochester and to be here for another year is a dream come true. But there are some things that could certainly change to employ better practicality in such a theory-intensive program. I think the hardest part of being in a theory-heavy graduate program is that sometimes, the practicality does not transfer well. Sure, utilization of standards is of the utmost importance, and necessary on all fronts to be able to work backward from in an effort to create a viable, well-thought out lesson plan. But there are so many more engaging ways to become better acclimated to using standards than simply listing them.

It is true that when we are able to experience something for ourselves, we can better employ it into practice. If we are able to get up and move and be engaged in what’s going on, we will be able to see the difference between being engaged or doing work silently in chairs – some days, this is of course fine and often necessary, but others, it is just not feasible, especially after a full day of teaching student for whom we’ve planned a slew of engaging activities.

So my question is this: how do we get Warner professors to start switching over to practicing what is preached about engagement in the classroom? Certainly this won’t be an overnight switch, but it’d certainly be helpful in coming up with more engaging ideas for our students.

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