After spending 12 years in a high school classroom, I learned some valuable lessons related to the art of teaching. Among the most valuable lessons was the idea that students are sculptures, not paintings.
When painting, the artist slathers paint on a blank canvas to create something that previously did not exist. When sculpting, the artist carefully removes materials to reveal the art that existed within the stone.
Likewise, bad teachers believe it is their job to impart information on unknowing students to create something that did not exist. Good teachers recognize all learning is self-learning, and their job is to remove barriers that inhibit self-learning.
Good teachers facilitate discussions.
Bad teachers crush dissenting opinions.
Good teachers care about the learner.
Bad teachers care about results.
Good teachers recognize they don’t have all the answers.
Bad teachers claim to know the “truth.”
Good teachers value relationships.
Bad teachers value credentials and procedures.
Good teachers have the ability to relate the material to their students using simplification, analogies, and metaphors.
Bad teachers use technical jargon and expect students to research and adjust on their own time.
Good teachers understand that they must tailor their methods for each student.
Bad teachers use a “my way or the highway” approach.
Good teachers learn from their students.
Bad teachers believe their students are inferior, therefor have nothing of value to contribute.
Good teachers listen more than they speak.
Bad teachers lecture and profess.
Whenever you find yourself in the position of teaching others, please remember these lessons… especially if you’re teaching someone how to run with better form.