Jonathan Glater '93
Professor of Law at UC-Irvine
“The crisis outside of my classes that has stayed with me resulted from the realization that not all professors knew how to teach effectively, and that I and my fellow students were paying the price. I took my concerns to faculty members I trusted; I talked them over with members of the Education Department, who knew more than I about how we learn. I finally wrote up some of my concerns and my proposed solutions and sent them to members of the College administration. We organized a meeting, and I learned how not to run a meeting. We came up with a plan, and I learned that plans require the support of the people critical to implementing them and should begin with easily managed small steps. A smaller group held a less ambitious meeting, and a few faculty members began to consider how certain classes might be taught more effectively.
“It was a frustrating experience at the time, and it provoked a crisis of confidence for me. Not for months afterward, not until I was well into graduate school, did I realize that at most other schools, very few people-even friends but certainly faculty and staff-would have listened to my concerns, tolerated my memos, or considered the ideas I tried to outline in them. The surprise, in retrospect, was not that change was difficult, but that anyone was receptive to it at all.” More