What sort of lessons about teaching and learning have you learned from the non-school parts of your life?
Did you learn something particularly well from your pre-professor occupation that taught you about how you learn? Have you tried learning some new skill or craft since becoming a professor that provided some insight into how you learn? Have you applied these lessons into the classroom? In observing your children grow, did you gain some insight that affected your own teaching style? Is there a lesson you learned from these non-schools experiences that you would like to apply in your classroom, but are not yet sure how to do so?
2 thoughts on “Tuesday Teaching Talk (Tuesday Edition)”
I did a lot of theater throughout high school and college, which was surprisingly good preparation for running a classroom. Both learning how to project and hold a stage presence and (maybe more importantly) learning how to be comfortable improvising in front of a large number of people are skills I’ve used every day. It’s maybe not classic pedagogy, but it’s been effective for me.
I’ll 2nd what Alex said about the theater experience. It was definitely helpful except for the times that the class doesn’t react to something I do that I feel is hilarious or overly dramatic.
Really though, I learned the most about myself as a teacher when I taught 6th grade. “Managing” that classroom was like nothing I ever experienced, and hopefully like nothing I ever will. The other important influence is my time spent tutoring. I learned a lot about clear explanations, leading/probing questions and patience. In addition, as I tutored more I realized that the teachers weren’t bad just because their students needed tutoring and that my job was not to reteach, but to guide. Much of this can be applied to classroom teaching.