For the last two years I have had the unique opportunity to collaborate with award winning trial lawyer, Mitch Jackson. I asked Mitch if he would be willing to Skype with my business law class last year and he agreed. The meeting was so successful that I decided (with Mitch’s approval) to launch a three part series over the course of the school year. WOW is all I can say…well, plus a description below of the dynamic learning that occurred.
Our first meeting was in the Fall when the leaves were bright and so were our fresh young minds entering their first Skype session with this amazing trial lawyer. After introductions, Mitch led the discussion as the students were a bit shy for our first meeting. Mitch is a gift to me as a teacher as he has a natural talent with the students. In my opinion, he could easily become a teacher if he were to expand on his experience. He is able to keep the conversation moving and poses thought provoking questions during our meetings.
The students liked Mitch from the start and we had a goal for our next meeting. My students were to develop Law Blog sites and these posts were to be used as a performance based test for each unit covered. I would then send the top blogs to Mitch for review and he planned to provide feedback at our next meeting.
A few months passed and we met for the second time, in the dead of winter here in Central New York. Mitch had the luxury of sun in his California surroundings and it was fun to open up with our changes in climate. Mitch then gave authentic feedback to the students about their Business Law blogs. Again, a natural with the students. He provided feedback that students immediately implemented into their next posts. For example, Mitch suggested students craft their blogs not just about the law, but also them the blogs around topics of interest and passion. One student actually wrote with the theme of the FBI as she had been a participant in their teen FBI program last summer. This gave her blog legitimacy and showed her interest. One of my favorite moments from this session was when one of my students was so interested to meet that she Facetimed in with us from her parents vehicle as they were driving to Florida for break! See clip below:
For our third and final meeting, the daffodils were blooming and it was mock trial season in my classroom. As students were preparing for their third case, a Spirit Airlines trial, Mitch met with the classes to provide advice for how to prepare for a winning mock trial. By this time, my students were very comfortable with Mitch and asked him questions including “how similar is mock trial to a real trial?” One piece of advice that the students really enjoyed was to create a picture for the jury, tell a story. He also reminded the teams to be themselves, don’t try to be someone else; every lawyer has their style. Great advice as you can see in this clip:
My students nailed the Spirit mock trial and I give much of the credit to Mitch. I wish he could have been there to see them put his advice to practice. Below are a few clips from our trial:
This is why I invite the pros into my classroom, this type of experience is literally priceless. When professionals from the community agree to help educate they provide an experience that brings our work to life. I cannot thank Mitch enough…please follow his site and his show, THESHOW.LIVE!
This would not be possible if we did not have Skype in the classroom. I use Skype multiple times a year, right now we are collaborating with a photographer in New York City to develop a web design for her to take over, this is happening in web design and development class as we speak, or as I type 🙂
Teaching from 360 degrees means practicing in activities that bring content to life! I love being a teacher, being creative, and pushing boundaries for my students. Thank you to Mitch and all professionals that help make our goals a reality!
This is teaching from a 360 degree view…rock on!