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Rekindle the Flame


Newsletter of Teaching & Learning at Penn State York

Best Practices, Teaching Tips, Ideas, Resources, What's NEW!!

Volume 2 Issue 2 March/April 2007

Violin virtuoso, Joshua Bell, recently took part in an experiment at a bustling Washington D.C. Metro station during morning rush hour. He played (incognito)on a priceless Stradivarius violin for 45 minutes as people hurried to catch their morning trains. Take a guess at how many folks stopped to listen..... This Washington Post article is a must read (includes video clips of the performance as well) GO  and sets the stage for the purpose of this newsletter: rekindling the flame within us.

metro station

If you didn't stop to read the Post article, or if you feel you just don't have time to stop for anything these days, then do yourself a favor and STOP here anyway.... Step away from the pack of millions of Americans who hustle through their days, perhaps missing the most sublime experiences happening all around them...

Let's take a collective deep breath this spring/summer and dedicate our precious time to re-kindling whatever it is that gives us life (in and out of the classroom!). This newsletter is dedicated to helping us do just that.

  • Feature Article: Shared Stories
  • Q & A - Getting re-energized
  • Book Review- Arthur Chickering (author of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education) has co-authored a new book that fits well with the rekindling theme: Encouraging Authenticity and Spirituality in Higher Education
  • WHAT'S NEW - Online tutorial, ANGEL 7 updates
  • Upcoming Workshops - Summer Workshop Schedule, Conversations in Teaching Series returns

Special thanks to Ann Fetterman who offered to share with us her recent presentation on Asperger's Syndrome (May 23, 2007 at 12:05 -1:00 in MCB 113). This syndrome is increasingly being recognized and diagnosed in students. Find out more about it and strategies you can use to help students in your classes who have the syndrome.


FEATURE: Shared Stories

new citizen

Sometimes I get into a funk and know I need to somehow rekindle the flame of enthusiasm within me. It's been especially bad lately - it's cold outside and I can't get in my garden. They changed the clocks and it's dark again in the mornings when I get up. I love to have my coffee out on the porch and listen to the birds, but that hasn't happened yet with 20 degree temps lingering stubbornly on. Spring just doesn't seem to want to get here this year, and I'm grumpy about it!! The spring in my step is gone and my usual optimistic demeanor has turned into an old curmudgeon, grumbling at life and looking for things to kick.

So what to do? When I get this way, I usually look for a new hobby, or decide to take a class, or look for silly things on the Internet that make me laugh, or take out my garden books and plan for when it finally warms up. This time, I still felt stuck, so it was time to pull out the big guns - the stories... I sit quietly and think about a few special stories from my past that continue to give the gifts of warmth and inspiration each time I put myself in their presence. This article shares some of those stories. I hope you'll share your stories, too.

Read the article HERE

question mark Q & A

What do you do to re-energize or to motivate yourself?

Respond to me at and I'll compile an anonymous list for the next newsletter.

Book Review

book cover

Arthur Chickering, best known for his Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, recently co-authored a book that I think fits in nicely with the theme of this newsletter, Encouraging Authenticity and Spirituality in Higher Education. Published in 2005 by Jossey-Bass, this book takes a look at alternative ways of knowing, being, and doing in higher-ed settings. I recommend taking a look for something a bit different from the status quo.

Read more and see an excerpt here


newspaper boy

ANGEL 7 is coming - May 19, 2007
Resources available to you now;

  1. Video
  2. Video Series of ANGEL Tools
  3. ANGEL Hub - all things ANGEL 7
  4. One-on-one help sessions - e-mail me
  5. Brief demo of the changes April 26th Faculty Senate Meeting

Create your own eGames
Help students review vocabulary and basic conceptual information by using a free eGames Generator. Participate in an online tutorial at Let me know when you complete it and I'll send you a certificate for your professional development records.

Workshop Schedule and Professional Development Opportunities

Summer 2007 Workshops @ PSY

Conversation in Teaching Series Returns!

May 23, 2007 - Ann Fetterman will be presenting information on Asperger's Syndrome as well as classroom strategies that can be helpful. MCB 113 from 12:05-1:00 pm

Fall 2007 - dates /times TBD
Cindy Decker-Raynak, Ph.D.,Schreyer Institute - Student-Centered Discussion Technique

Jennifer Nesbitt, Ph.D.- Cutting corners without cutting quality - Time saving classroom techniques.

Ted Mannino, Ph.D. - Using educational technology to facilitate learning using thinking skills as a framework

Suzanne Benchoff, Ed.D.,Director Migrant Education Programs, IU13 - Strategies for faculty that support ESL students in content classrooms

Contact me if you have a topic of interest or if you would like to share something you are doing in the classroom and we'll work it into the schedule!

Breeze Online Workshops - - No registration or RSVP required, just login to the room by clicking the link above. Dates & Times:
Monday, April 16, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Friday, April 27, 10:00 - 11:00am

For more information about Breeze, and to check on upcoming demonstrations, go to


breeze log-in                      


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    Suzanne C. Shaffer,M.Ed.
    Instructional Design eLearning Support
    Penn State York Campus
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    Teaching Tip

    "Think enthusiastically about everything; but especially about your job. If you do, you'll put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your job with enthusiasm, you'll shake it to pieces. You'll love it into greatness.."

    Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)