Why I decided to teach
I became a teacher because I was passionate about knowledge and information. My parents never graduated from college so they had hammered the need for getting a college degree into from the time I can remember. I earned degrees in music and classics (Latin and Greek).
With this strange education at times I wondered where it would lead. Interestingly enough it did not lead to a life as an academic or musical recluse, though it might well have done so as I was a shy kind of guy. Instead I began to share what I knew and loved with people of all ages. Enthusiastically and unequivocally.
My path to teaching
I followed an unconventional path to teaching. It consists of three acts as it were. First I trained choirs of children and adults for over 40 years. And I did it all: the accompaniments, the vocal training, the sight singing, the interpretation and the performances. The lot.
Then I got the chance to both teach and run a small private high school. That was a marvelous experience. I felt that I made a difference in those young lives and that mattered more than anything to me.
Finally, I have been a corporate trainer for the past 10 years. This has turned out to be very challenging and satisfying at the same time. Teaching adults new tricks to make them a lot of money in the technology sales arena has made me rethink the way I present material and assess its assimilation and retention.
What I'd Do Differently
- Be more patient. After all others may not be as enthusiastic about your subject as you are.
- Be a better listener. Try to discern where your students are coming from.
- Be more humble. I have learned more from my students than they ever learned from me.
My favorite thing about teaching
I love to see that 'Eureka!' moment as I call it. That gleam in a student's eyes when she 'gets it'. That's what teaching is all about for me.
My least favorite thing about teaching
All the paper work and marking. Marking essays is very time-consuming. Necessary but time-consuming.