YouTube vs. VHS

Lots of people use YouTube videos in presentation, teachers, motivational speakers, CEO’s. It’s a quick, and now very easy way to illustrate, in this very visual world, a point of view or an example of what not to do. But before there was YouTube, there was VHS. Remember those rectangle boxes with shiny cardboard covers, and the sleek black plastic rectangle that slid out from the bottom to be popped into an awaiting VCR. Of course you remember, it really wasn’t that long ago!

One of my professors in graduate school, Dr. John Duval, was a huge fan of using video in his classes. So much so that at least two of his office walls were lined from top to bottom with shelving. The shelves were spaced only wide enough to slide one of the pretty, rectangular boxes into an awaiting space. Ask me some time about the day one of the shelves gave way!

I tell you this because the act of Dr. Duval using videos as a teaching tool was one that struck me so hard that I immediately began doing it as well. I had nowhere near the collection he did, and the majority of my videos were more recent than the likes of Blackboard Jungle and To Sir With Love. His video collection of course included all the requisite films associated with teaching and school leadership, Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me, The Miracle Worker; but it also included films like the now classic Caddy Shack and the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School. He had a use for every one of those hundreds of movies that decorated his office walls and he could tell you what it was if you asked.

1_2339Dr. Duval also gave me my first chance to teach at the college level. I co-taught a summer institute on leadership with him for educators in Vermont. It was amazing and I learned even more about my own approach to sharing my knowledge and experience with other people. You know the expression, “He’s a man’s man?” Well, Dr. Duval was a teacher’s teacher!
I mentioned in a previous post that I’m in exactly the right job for me now. It is the right job because it is the convergence of the best of all the jobs I’ve had over the last thirty years, and the best of what I’ve learned to do and not do as a leader. One of the people along the way to thank for that is Dr. John Duval. He told me once that he loved having me in class because I was like a sponge, I was attentive, engaged, and thoughtful. I’ve taken that to heart, always trying to find the learning moment as a move along my path.

He passed away some time ago, but I still recall him fondly and gratefully on a pretty regular basis. Thank you, Dr. Duval.

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