No easy thing to do. At some point, despite our education, academic pursuits, qualifications or professional background, we might have some teaching to do.
We are constantly talking about learning, eager to learn, learning process etc (myself included) and maybe little thinking do we do about the teaching process in the first place (or maybe it’s just me).
A couple of years ago, my job basically consisted in training, which is partly translated in teaching. Little did I know what would that mean. I am not the typical example of patience…darkness looming, bad sign oh-ooohhh. I was pretty confident that if I could make it clear and easy enough, then I wouldn’t need to repeat things more than 2 times tops, right? Makes sense?
Reality was slightly different though. I felt tricked at the time, frustrated, what was wrong with…. with… with… these people. Then, what was wrong with meeeeee? Clear and easy right? Clear and easy it was.
Then, during one of my many classes, one of the trainees completed the sentence I was saying, thus the thing I wanted to explain to the rest of the class. She was one of the best, very perceptive and smart, not to mention the vast experience she already had in the field.
I was astonished. “How did you figure it out?”
“It’s easy to me, I’ve done it before plenty of times, I have a clear image of the whole process in front of my eyes.”
Notice something? The clear and easy adjectives? And most importantly, why it felt that way to her?
It stuck with me and from that moment on, I changed my “clear” and “easy”script. What to me is “clear” and “easy” not necessarily is to others, and it’s normal it can’t be, no tricks, no reality playing sick games, no stupid people around me, no me as incompetent me. My own biases had taken over, preventing me to realize the other side.
I had failed to see the basics, the different approach. When I am “teaching” I know what I am talking about, the other part maybe not, so assuming that the thread of thoughts and reasoning would take the same path is simply wrong.
Teaching, means building the path leading to knowledge. Teaching to me is providing basics, which will enable further growth and improvement, means providing methods to learn and broaden your knowledge. Means giving space and time to try, fail, learn and try again and yes, fail again. It means having patience, and accept your own mistakes as a “teacher”. People are different, therefore not the same set of strategies will work the same on everyone. That’s what being a good teacher means, notice the difference and make the difference.
I am no teacher, but eventually I had the opportunity to do some teaching in the past, who knows maybe I will do it again in the future.