Dr. Richard Overfelt’s teaching style comes from a different kind of lesson plan.
Dancing, singing, marching and the whacking of cymbals are all part of a formula he says is aimed at getting teachers to take themselves less seriously.
His students are teachers from schools all across the St. Louis area. Many arrive exhausted, perhaps drained from a long day’s work instructing kids all the way up to the high school level. But Overfelt greets them with a boisterous “happy day.”
On the first day of classes each semester at Truman State University, the 88-year-old lifelong educator surprises his students by coming in dressed as a clown — unusual methods for a profession now characterized by test scores and no-nonsense school administrators.
“I teach that if the heart is empty, it doesn’t make any difference how full the head,” said Overfelt.
Given how many demands are placed upon teachers, from school districts right down to …