Article previewing keynote at Upstate NY Successful Teaching Conference:
David Katz spins insights on Emotional Intelligence…
When you arrive at the Downstate Successful Teaching Conference at Sullivan County Community College, go ahead and indulge yourself at the Continental breakfast buffet. You need have no fear of nodding off during the hour to follow because you’ll be spending it with David R. Katz III, whose keynote presentation on emotional intelligence promises to be an eye-opener in more ways than one.
A first-time presenter at last October’s Upstate STC in Syracuse, the Mohawk Valley Community College political science professor took his morning workshop audience by storm with a lively and sometimes surprising riff on emotional intelligence.
Posing the question, “Have you ever wished you could change your students’ attitudes?” Katz emphatically asserted, “You can!” Then, drawing on research, anecdotes, a bit of role modeling and some refreshingly offbeat PowerPoint slides, he proceeded to show them how.
Tall, lanky and athletic, he’s a guy who just can’t hold still – all for the better in a presentation whose kinetic style and “follow-my lead and don’t look at your feet” message reflect both the pedagogic experience and physical conditioning acquired in a career spanning classrooms, dance floors, basketball courts and correctional facilities.
Katz found his career calling fresh out of high school, teaching dance and swimming classes and mentoring kids in a Big Brothers program. He reflects, “I guess my tendency is, when I love something I want to share it with people. So I continue to teach dance on the side, continue to mentor young people, got involved in coaching . . . The whole thing has been fueled by a passion to meaningfully touch the lives of other people, so that in some way I can be helpful.”
STC Planning Committee member Vincent Boyd says Katz represents a savvy choice for the keynoter’s role. “What really appeals to me is, he’s one of us: a working community college professor who really cares about classroom teaching. And he comes to us because of the talent he exhibited at a previous STC. That’s just the message we want to send to other aspiring presenters.”
Email from a faculty participant in a training on emotional intelligence.
Mia Hernandez, LPC, Counseling Faculty, Glendale CC, Glendale, AZ
It was so great to meet with you last Friday. I was SO inspired by your style of leading and teaching. I started to apply it right away to my classes. I’ve been going out of my way to make sure my students “feel” acknowledged and accepted and I can see it’s making a big difference. Just today, I publicly recognized one of my students who was absent by telling her that we missed her presence. She had a smile from ear to ear. Prior to your workshop, I was struggling with the “fire” and the outgoing personality my class has, but now thanks to you, I view it differently and I’m reinforcing it with positive acknowledgement (not mistaking it for classroom management issue) and giving specific praise to each student’s strength.
I can see the difference that your EI instruction has made in my style of teaching and in the lives of my students. I told Aracely on the way home from your workshop that I wish I could have you as my mentor because you embody the instructor that I want to become. Thank you for the good work that you do. I would love to keep in touch!
Note from a plenary workshop!
Rebekah Woods, President of Columbia Basin CC, Pasco WA
Thanks so much for your presentation on Monday. It was hands down the best Emotional Intelligence presentation I’ve seen. I loved how you were able to make it directly applicable to the classroom. That was masterful. Our campus and our students are better off due to your visit. Thanks so much.
All the best, Rebekah
Survey feedback from presentations:
“One of the most vibrant and engaging presenters I’ve seen in several years! Lots of laughter in the room equals a highly engaged audience.”
“I am not one to easily say “strongly agree” but this presentation was fantastic! Great presentation and the inspiration I needed to improve my classroom engagement.”
“Excellent! One of the best keynotes I ever attended!”
“This session was one of the most compelling sessions I’ve ever attended at any conference!”
“David Katz was great. He managed to make the auditorium feel as intimate as a classroom. Also, he’s a great storyteller.”
“Wonderful. Got lots of ideas for new language and ways to re-frame some classroom dynamics. Many thanks. Nice balance of humor, brain research and resources.”
“I have attended this event for several years, and I have to admit this was one of the better keynote addresses we have ever had. It was refreshing, heartfelt and rejuvenating at a time when it is most needed.”
“His attitude and emotion is infectious; I felt both inspired and affirmed!”
“The sincerity, humor and humanity of your words touched us all deeply, and you brought style and panache to our banquet.”
“You are the rare treasure that can truly hold the interest of an audience and inspire them.”
“This is the best received presentation in my ten years as president!”
“You were outstanding! Faculty, staff, and administration were referring to you again and again in the days that followed. Thank you so much!”