I must confess that I didn’t know that St. Benedict was the patron of students. I was very curious to see the extract from the rule of St. Benedict that had to do with the talking teacher and the silent learner at the New Learning website. It was quite long so I’ll only quote what for me is most intriguing –
[It] belongeth to the master to speak and to teach; it becometh the disciple to be silent and to listen. If, therefore, anything must be asked of the Superior, let it be asked with all humility and respectful submission. But coarse jests, and idle words or speech provoking laughter, we condemn everywhere to eternal exclusion; and for such speech we do not permit the disciple to open his lips …
Whoa! I wonder how my millennial students will react to this. For my parents’ generation, children were to be seen and not heard. I wonder if St. Benedict had anything to do with that.
This slide deck tells the story of my foray into blended learning. As a young teacher, I prepared well for my lectures and wondered why my students were sleeping in class. I brushed up on my presentation skills. I studied The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo. I read
Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. I changed the way I made my slide decks after studying Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. The students kept dozing off. That’s how I set off on a journey to teach differently.
This video prefaces my slide deck. A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch. It affected me deeply and influenced my teaching methods. I hope St. Benedict is not turning in his grave.