Teaching Strategies Based on George Feeny and Herman Boone

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Due to the recent passing of Herman Boone I decided to write the following article on how the combination of Herman Boone [played by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans] and George Feeny [a fictional character from Boy Meets World] have helped me develop my teaching strategy.

Denzel Washington utters “I’m a mean cuss, but I’m the same mean cuss with everyone” in a memorable performance in Remember the Titans. This is a simple statement on fairness when dealing with people.

When dealing with students it is necessary to set strict guidelines without steering away from these guidelines. Within my courses I set specific guidelines with respect to submitting assignments. I only accept assignment submissions up to an hour late. Students are made aware of these strict guidelines in the early stages of the course. Students habitually try to get me to bend these guidelines to their benefit if they fail to submit assignments on time, but I do not budge; expressing how if I change the rules for one it is unfair to everyone else.

From George Feeny there are a few lessons I have utilized within my teaching. First among them is getting to know students beyond just their name to connect/engage with them to understand how to get them to reach their full potential.

Teaching the basics is another lesson from George Feeny. There are many students who enter higher education without knowing the basics. As a direct result it is necessary to help build a foundation in order to further develop critical thinking skills.

Lastly, I always encourage my students to do good!

The combination of these strategies allows me to gain the respect and admiration of my students.

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