Published on: October 15, 2009Now available on iTunes…
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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is MorningNewsBeat Radio, available on iTunes and brought to you by Webstop, experts in the art of retail website design.
My wife and I recently went to Parents Night at our daughter’s high school, an event that I’ve found to be enormously enjoyable on nights when my kids have had committed and highly engaged teachers. There’s nothing worse than going to Parents Night and have this uh-oh feeling that it is going to be a long year, or that I’d rather have a colonoscopy or dental surgery that spend 45 minutes a day with this math teacher or that science teacher. But that didn’t happen this year, and in fact has never happened at this school, which is a good thing.
But something else interesting is worth noting. My daughter’s Spanish teacher, as it happens, is an archaeologist who has spent a lot of time in Peru; when he speaks the language and about the culture, it is with an elevated level of passion.
Her chemistry teacher is a marine biologist, not a chemist. So when he talks about principles of chemistry, he brings a kind of real world experience to them…he wants the students not to think of chemistry in terms of abstract principles and ideas, but as having a tangible connection to the physical world.
And her history teacher was a music major who speaks with enormous enthusiasm about the arts. So when she talks about various periods of history, she is using culture as a window into different civilizations, which can make them come alive in a different way.
A really good Parents Night makes the adults in attendance want to go back to school. But this one made me think about the advantages of getting people in any organization – not just a high school – to move outside their comfort zones, to work in disciplines with which they may not be familiar. The unfamiliar eye can see things that more practiced, and in some cases jaundiced, eyes never see. It can be a path to change, to innovation.
I’d be enormously surprised if my daughter didn’t learn stuff in Spanish, history and chemistry this year that she never would have learned if her teachers were cut from a more traditional cloth. Kudos to her school for understanding this. For the rest of us, it is a lesson worth learning and if done right, it can pay dividends not just in the short term, but in continuing improvements and innovations for our businesses.
For MorningNewsBeat Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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