How to Be Engaging While Teaching College

Listen to “51-Please Apply the You…Y’all…We Template Tomorrow…Starring Norman Eng” on Spreaker.

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it will seem like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl, and an hour seems like a minute. That’s relativity. Albert Einstein

Please don’t touch!

This wonderful quote is the embodiment of engagement. As teachers, we need to be more like the beautiful companion (obviously not in terms of physical attraction) and less like the stove.

And that’s why I’m simply thrilled to bring you my interview with Norman Eng.

Norman’s outstanding new book Teaching College is a must read for educators who want to avoid being Einstein’s hot stove.

Now, don’t panic! Norman’s book is about engaging students at all levels and he has serious credibility.

While Norman is currently an adjunct Education professor in the New York City University System, he spent many years instructing at the K12 level.

In fact, he believes college professors could learn a lot about engagement from K12 teachers! Isn’t that a delicious switch?

But the heart of the Hacking Engagement podcast episode above is our conversation about, and how to apply, a marvelous lesson template.

Magdalene Lampert’s You…Y’all…We template is an ultra engaging way to teach anything! I learned about it from Norman, applied to the next day’s lesson, and struck engagement gold! Listen and get inspired!

Let’s break this down with the Hack Learning problem-solving model.

The Problem

Teachers need an engaging template they can apply to various lessons.

The Solution

Apply the You…Y’all…We template.

What You Can Do Tomorrow

  1. Issue an engaging hook students work on individually (YOU). Here are some examples:

You’re introducing variables in Algebra…so you prompt:

Describe when you solved a mystery.

  • How did you do it?
  • What were some serious obstacles?

You’re beginning a unit on Cather in the Rye in English…so you prompt:

Describe what you miss most about being a little kid.

  • How is being older frustrating?
  • Would you like to go back for one day?

You’re delving into plate tectonics in Earth Science…so you prompt:

Describe the heaviest thing you’ve moved.

  • How did you do it?
  • What were some serious obstacles?

You’re introducing flexibility in your Health and PE class…so you prompt:

Describe a law or a school policy that needs to be eliminated, or updated.

  • Why does it need to change?
  • What will happen if it doesn’t?

2. After a few minutes, invite students to discuss their responses in small groups (Y’ALL).

3. After a few minutes, conduct a class discussion, or debriefing (WE).

4. Now that the pump has been primed, dive into the lecture, the reading, and the lesson activity.

This constitutes active learning plus profound engagement. Please apply this template to tomorrow’s lesson!

Want to learn 50 Tips & Tools to Engage Teachers and Learners Daily? Click the image below.