I Taught at Harvard and Here’s What I learned
In April 2019, I was invited to Harvard to lecture on sustainability and the advancements in autonomous vehicle technologies. For my career, this was a feather in my cap, a cherry on top of my ice cream sundae. Teaching is about learning. A teacher must first master a topic, then their students will often have questions or insights that shape the way a teacher might view their topic. Such is the Socratic method.
So what did I learn when I was honored to teach at Harvard? For starters, I learned that the quality of the staff, faculty, and students at Harvard is not over-hyped – this is truly a collection of very intelligent people with a real passion for education. Their kindness and professionalism was palpable in every way. But the merits of Harvard were not what I learned, I could have guessed that before I made the journey.
Teaching and studying has become a way of life for me. There is always a next skill or knowledge base for me to acquire; there is always a next group to impart some of my knowledge to. Everyone in the class I taught appeared to be engaged and eager to learn. The classroom asked excellent questions and encouraged me when I was on a roll making my point or developing a thought. They wanted to hear what I had to say.
Once a week I teach and mentor a group of 8th and 9th grade boys, with a class size of roughly 20-35 students. I routinely volunteer myself to help with high school and middle school career days to spur an interest in engineering and STEM careers. Teaching students can be really difficult. Many days I feel ineffective and wonder if my words and ideas mattered at all to the students. Some days I get through to them and we have rich conversation, but those days are in the minority.
Inspiring and teaching students is really hard. When I taught at Harvard, I learned that teaching at a place like Harvard is easy.
Harvard is not the only opportunity Matthew has had to share his expertise. We will now be featuring a "Highlights" page on our website at changindustrial.com. Here you can find a timeline of Matthew's speaking engagements and award nominations. Harvard is first, but stay tuned for more as we feature more of his past opportunities in sharing his expertise.