I woke up this morning in the middle of a vivid dream. I was standing in front of a large auditorium style classroom and teaching a bunch of college students. I was calling on people. Asking questions. Making jokes. Having fun. Teaching.I’ve done that before. I taught classes at Penn to help put myself through grad school. And I’ve done guest lecturing so many times it is like second nature. But this dream was a bit different from what I’ve done in the past. It felt like it was my class and I was a faculty member.
My dad was a college professor (at West Point) in addition to a long military career. I’ve always thought that, like him, I would teach as a profession one day. It’s the only thing that really interests me other than venture capital.
But I wonder if the classroom is the best place for me to do that. At some level this blog is my classroom. I look at what Sal Khan has done with his Khan Academy and I am inspired to think of new ways to teach.
MBA Mondays is an effort to understand what is possible in a blog format and what is not. Putting concepts down in a text format that anyone can read if they can get on the web is powerful. And the comments section allows for further discussion. The comments on the MBA Mondays post are often way better than the posts.
But every time I sit down in front of group of assembled entrepreneurs, I realise that the “in person thing” is different and better in some ways. I feed off the energy of real people sitting in the same room as me. I like the back and forth. Asking questions. Making jokes. Having fun. Teaching. Just like my dream this morning.
MBA Mondays can be a burden at times. I sit down in front of the computer each monday morning at 5am and churn out another post. It is work and it is not that much fun for me. Contrast that with stepping into a classroom of a hundred or so students armed with a topic for the day. That is a blast for me.
I’ve been thinking about the ideal model that combines all of the above. A freely available curriculum on the web that grows and evolves over time. A physical space where people can come and take classes that are recorded and broadcast live and also available for viewing after the fact. Some version of that seems ideal. Should it happen in connection with an existing education institution (an engineering school or a business school), or should it be its own educational institution? Not sure.
But the one thing I am sure of is that teaching is god’s work and I love it and I’d like to do more of it.
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