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Pseudoteaching and Real Teaching

I’ve often been told that I am not the greatest of teachers. Now, to clarify I am not a teacher by profession, but like most adults, teaching others is part of my regular life whether through teaching family members such as a younger child, mentoring a new work intern or co op student or any other situation where I hold the knowledge and am attempting to inform another.

The main culprit of my lack of rave reviews is, admittedly, my lack of patience. However, when I am really focused on the task at hand, I’d like to think that my teaching method is effective albeit tough at times. For example, I occasionally raise my voice to get a point across or to point out a mistake, I had an intern point this out to me and I said “ah, but will you ever commit this mistake again?” Probably not. My success rate with interns (in coaching them to get permanent jobs) is 100%, so there is some tangible evidence of the effectiveness of my teaching style. However, I could just be taking credit, and they thrived despite my teaching.

Interestingly enough, I came across the following and thought some of my readers would enjoy it.  In comparing it to myself (most people will say you can’t assess yourself-you’re bias, I’d like to think one of my strengths is my ability to self-assess and be brutally honest with myself) I scored 7 of the RT points. From those interested, it’s from author of the Talent Code, which i wrote about in a previous blog post):

  • 1) PT delivers long, entertaining, inspiring lectures; RT designs short, intensive, learner-driven sessions
  • 2) PT is eloquent and expansive; RT is concise and focused
  • 3) PT addresses large groups; RT connects to individuals
  • 4) PT doesn’t focus on small details; RT is all about details
  • 5) PT is about talking more than watching or listening; RT is about listening and watching more than talking
  • 6) PT is loudly charismatic; RT is quietly magnetic
  • 7) PT is Robin Williams leaping atop desks in Dead Poets Society; RT is John Wooden, teaching his basketball players how to put on their socks properly (no wrinkles, because that causes blisters)
  • 8) PT dismisses questions; RT craves them
  • 9) PT treats everyone the same; RT tailors the message for each learner
  • 10) PT delivers the exact same lecture over and over; RT customizes each session for its audience
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