I’m a teacher and school best practices enthusiast. I read basically everything that comes out about behavioral and positive psychology, management and biographies of all kinds.
I’m always on the look out for practical lessons I can share with my students. And, as a new dad, I feel doubly committed to this mission.
For example, Daniel Gilbert writes in Stumbling on Happiness that people adapt to winning the lottery. The research says it most likely wouldn’t effect your happiness or at least not for very long. This is called “hedonistic adaptation.” We quickly grow accustomed to changes. So if you win the lottery or lose the use of your legs tonight it will only take maybe a few months or a year until you’ve returned to your original level of happiness and contentment. I love those kinds of insights. We each have a level of happiness and satisfaction with life that we live with. (This isn’t to say however, that your level can’t be changed). I find these kinds of ideas fascinating.
So this is my persistent interest, to make sure I’m always growing in my enjoyment of life and in my ability to help other people.
I have traveled the world as a teacher (and sometimes as a writer). I have worked on 4 continents gathering insights, as we all do, along the way. I have 3 university degrees, including a Degree in Teaching and an MBA. And I read, on average, more than one non-fiction book per week –which helps me share the latest research with my students.
I really love my job. I feel very privileged that my job is to share ideas with a group of ambitious, hard working teenagers and to help to prepare them for university and, more generally, for life as an adult.
My approach in general emphasizes experimentalism and storytelling. And I am passionate about best practices. I think I’m the only teacher I’ve met who interviews his peers and takes notes on the techniques they say are working the best for them. (I share some of those insights here).
As I teach in Business class, we don’t always know why something works well, but that’s not always a problem. Life (and being a student) is an art as much as a science. As long as we continue experimenting and notice what works and what doesn’t, we can continue improving. This is as true for my own practice as much as for my students’. And I feel that since I have taken on an iterative, self-reflective approach it has allowed me to improve my effectiveness as a teacher by around 10% every year –some years much more than that. I also find that every year I teach I am more and more motivated to see them do better.