Students discuss the kegerator before the food pairing
My goal when starting the beer school was to teach the students that anyone can make a batch of decent tasting beer with the simplest of equipment and ingredients. I think I accomplished that goal but along the way, as the brewing techniques became increasingly difficult, I found that it was necessary to educate myself along with the students and that as prepared as I thought I was, there is still more that I need to learn to adequately prepare the students for the more advanced brewing skills. In the end though, I received good grades from the students concerning my teaching abilities and the curriculum. I felt a little relieved when the final day was done and I had cleaned up and packed the van with the beer related school stuff. Driving away from the campus I reflected on my efforts as a teacher, a difficult but rewarding job. I learned a lot about how I teach and what I may do in the future to improve. I went into the classes fully prepared with a written agenda and syllabus to guide my way, but quickly realized that I had to be flexible and go 'off-script' when needed. I will be taking away from this experience an improved format for the next series of classes and by the spring I should be rested and mentally prepared to go through the process again.