Teaching…what does this word mean? In my experience, it appears to hold many different meanings and perspectives. But what does it mean to me?
My teaching philosophy is centered around the recipient achieving a goal that he/she has set for themselves. It’s about the student, not the “teacher.” In order to effectively “teach,” we must let go of any ego we might have regarding our own knowledge and experiences. Yes, these things are important, but not at the expense of a student’s learning and success.
Teaching is a sharing of knowledge and experiences…if I know something you want to know, then I share it with you, hopefully in a way that you will understand. THAT’s teaching.
In order to teach effectively, you must be a guide to the recipients, allowing them to discover things on their own.
Teaching is more about communication than it is about deep seeded knowledge. One with less knowledge about a subject but better communication skills will tend be a great teacher, in my opinion. For example, I may have the highest degree, highest level of understanding and knowledge of a particular subject, but if I do not know how get YOU to see it or understand, then I cannot actually teach it to you. If, on the other hand, I have less knowledge, but can help you find a way to understand the subject, then I have become a good teacher.
Relate to your “audience,” your class, those waiting to learn from you. Communicate well with them, and try to create an atmosphere conducive to learning. People tend to learn best when they are in a positive state of mind. I always strive to accomplish this for any and all of my students.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Teaching is about connecting more than about absolute knowledge. If you are the highest level genius in a subject, but can't speak with another person, or help them to understand, then your genius isn't useful. I try my best to communicate basics that will help anyone succeed with any subject; that's my goal.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know who the student is as a person, and find out exactly what they want to accomplish.