Intermediate Accounting students from Concordia College threw an end of the year party earlier tonight. The class social committee (Ian and Rachel) chose Buffalo Wild Wings as the host establishment.
The theme of the party was to say goodbye to ProfAlbrecht, who is leaving Concordia College at the end of the school year. The adding machine cake was baked by Barb Torgerson of Classic Cakes & Catering. It tasted as good as it looks.
I’m not sure exactly why my students chose to make the effort, but I’m glad they did. In this world, there are far too many instances when we have an opportunity to say thanks, but don’t take it. My Intermediate Accounting students are good people, and with this party reminded me of the positive impact that good people can have.
It has been my privilege to have been a teacher to Concordia College students in general, and to this group of Intermediate Accounting students in particular. As so often is the case, the teaching has gone in both directions. I’ll share a few memories of lessons learned from this group of students.
It is easy for a professor to ask questions of the class at large. The students who “get it” respond with a good answer, and the professor can feel good that someone benefited from the teaching efforts. This group of students, though, really appreciated it when we would go around the classroom and each (and every) student would have to answer a question when it was his/her turn. By this, the class reminded me that education isn’t just for the smartest students, but for all the students. I was impressed with how students weren’t embarrassed by making errors. The end product, for them, was the lesson eventually learned.
One memorable aspect of the two semester class was when two of the students were unable to continue from fall semester to spring because of schedule conflicts. I offered to teach the two during the evening, in a class section of two. They accepted, and by so doing gave me a chance to relearn and recommit to what education is all about. Both told me that they weren’t looking for a guided independent study, where the focus would be on the material. They wanted a regular class where the focus would be on process, logic and thinking. Moreover, I was to do this with no tangible reward, the class was “off the books.” It was only about them being two students in need of learning, and I could help make that happen. A few other students eventually joined the two, and we all had a special time. The informality of the class gave me an opportunity to observe how the students worked together to learn the material. Learning, for them, was not always a solo experience. It also reminded me of the value of friendship and camaraderie.
And, I need to say thanks to the two, for each bought me a meal in appreciation.
Dividing the class gave me a chance to tailor the classroom experience to the needs and desires of the individual students in each group. And that was cool.
As the year progressed, they persuaded me that they could do better on tests if they used their laptops, just like a regular class when they used MS Excel to take notes. In turn, I gave the students the flexibility of scheduling their tests at favorable times for them. Not everyone had to take the test at the same time.
At the party, students could earn extra credit if they took a second piece of cake.
Hey, gang. I will miss you. I enjoyed the party. We’ll have to do it again, sometime.
Debit and credit – - David Albrecht