The First Risk of the Year.

I have a 71 slide Keynote presentation that I’m supposed to use to teach Press Law to my Journalism kids. I love talking about Press Law. I love telling stories about court cases. I love telling corny jokes to make sure they’re still awake. I love teaching this content. And part of me is arrogant enough to think that unless I am blathering on at my students, they will not learn the material.

But this semester, I’m letting go and encouraging my students to discover this information on their own. Letting go like this always terrifies me. What if they don’t talk about Hazelwood? What if they mess up copyright law? What if they decide that with the recent NSA leaks, privacy is moot? And what if they convince me that they’re right?

(Confession: as a failsafe, I did load the Keynote on their iPads. They can reference it if they are completely lost.)

They will start teaching mini-lessons on Friday, and I know that I can fill in blanks as they go. But I hope I don’t have to.

I did tell them this is new for me, giving up this lecture, so I might make mistakes as I help them become independent learners. And there is something oddly freeing about admitting to them I don’t know how it’s going to work. If we fail (which I don’t think we will) we will figure out a better way to learn and present the material.

So for the next two days, I’m excited to see how they research and build their own teaching tools. I look forward to a less stringent lesson plan so I can conference with students about their first quiz.

And I look forward to saving my voice a little, and not feeling rushed to get through those 71 slides.

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