In one week, my spring semester classes at Temple University will come to a close, which often drives me to reflect on the power of teaching. We teach family, friends, and colleagues in so many ways each and every day. To get you thinking about it as well, I share below some of what I have learned from teaching in my life.
The most powerful teaching is shared teaching. The teacher is not the sole expert in the room. I have found the most powerful teaching, and learning, experiences, are born when the whole class takes responsibility for the teaching. Each participant teaches, and each participant learns.
The intersection of your teaching and your student’s learning is transformational for both of you. Teaching and learning are about change. At the moment when your teaching becomes their learning, or vice-versa, lives are changed. Really, it is this moment that fuels me. I live for these moments; they make me jump out of bed at 5:00am so that I can leave work early to teach my Temple students and stay up late tweaking a seminar I will facilitate for job seekers.
Even if you are not a full-time teacher or trainer, you teach people, and learn from them every day. Did a co-worker ask you for help with a computer system this week? Did you show your mother or grandfather how to surf the Web? Or maybe you lived your values, and taught people via your example? You absolutely change the lives of others every day by teaching them, and you change your own life via what you learn from that teaching.
So, who will you teach today, and what will you learn from that experience?
Feel free to share your teaching moments and other insights or feedback by leaving a comment here.
I’ll end with a quote I found online from Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), American journalist, historian, academic, novelist, and grandson of John Quincy Adams, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”