After the two day "conference" portion of MisfitCon, I've made a tradition of going for a walk with my camera and finding breakfast alone to collect my thoughts and decompress from the 48 hours of inspiration I've just been through.
This year I found myself in a leather and chrome booth at The Boiler Room.
Being the first customer on a Saturday morning means instant attention and fresh coffee. Exactly the combination I needed.
Reading through my notes there was plenty of quotes and thoughts, but then I started brain-dumping on a fresh page that started with:
"I'm a teacher who tells stories. Shouldn't all teachers do this?
Too many have grown roots and never move, see or experience new things.
Bread grows stale quickly, so you must always be baking new loaves."
Right there is a peek into how my brain works and what my notebooks look like. It makes complete sense to me and perhaps bits of it do to you.
After my recent first course at Bentley and through all my courses on lynda.com I get a thrill out of the feedback I receive from students. Good or bad, I welcome it because I take it and make my next teaching opportunity even better.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how it doesn't matter if I'm on stage speaking, consulting on a project or writing a new book. My goal is always the same, to inspire and teach others.
When I really stopped and thought about nothing but what I get the most enjoyment out of, it boils down to some form of teaching.
The world of education is changing rapidly. Sure, most institutions are not paying much attention to it, but just like the music and publishing industries the changes are happening in plain site and eventually there will be sink holes on college campuses around the globe.
Take one look at what The Experience Institute is doing and imagine what happens when a wealthy benefactor makes a donation to them instead of another ivy covered brick walled university?
I could spend the weekend putting together a new course, launch it on Teachery and any student in the world could pay me to take it. What if a bunch of us banded together to teach a whole curriculum around a traditional major?
I'm not predicting or rooting for a collapse of the higher education system, but I am hoping for an extreme evolution of how they approach teaching future generations.
As a parent, I wonder if my kids need to go into life-crushing debt to get a piece of parchment instead of entering the work force and learning what they want to do before they seek out a degree in it.
As a teacher, I wonder if colleges will stop requiring advanced degrees as an initial gate to jump over before teaching.
As a student, I love all the new outlets there are for learning only a search and a few clicks away. Plus, I don't want to ever stop learning!
There are a whole lot of other scribbles in my notebook from that morning, but the last thing it says is:
"Teacher is a better description than consultant for what I do. Damn teachers deserve a ton more respect!"
Yup, I still agree with those statements.
Teaching means more to me than I ever imagined it would. I have no plans on stopping.
Photo Credit: Dan Powell