Ever hear of the adage: “Those who can do, those who can’t teach”? Although usually intended to be a negative comment, I almost always take it in a positive light.
Part of the reason I am not insulted is the fact that I have found this to be true in my own world of instruction. I am able, as a professional instructor, to help a person improve their skiing ability, even when they are technically a better skier than I am. Because even though I am not capable of completing the movement myself, I can identify the issue, explain it in terms the person understands and provide tactics for fixing the problem. I am a teacher!
Historically I was never a big Sherlock Holmes fan. But with the recent movies and two TV series, my interest has grown. His methods, insights and attitudes are intriguing.
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What I have come to realize is that many of the tools Sherlock Holmes uses for solving a mystery are also wonderful tools for helping a class run smoothly. We just need to look at them a little differently and apply them to our challenge of teaching a class effectively as opposed to solving a crime.
Bond…. James Bond. It is an iconic statement famous throughout the English speaking world and probably much of the rest of the planet. But what can James Bond teach us about presenting?
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Well, quite a lot actually. To date there are 6 actors who have played James Bond unless you also include the spoof version of Casino Royale, where James Bond is played by actor David Niven. Whether you are a fan of Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, or any of the others in between, each Bond actor has something to teach us if we examine them carefully.
Have you ever had a difficult concept to share and just didn’t know where to start? Was the problem compounded by not having a lot of familiarity with your audience? I have a secret to getting my point across that has a wonderful success rate. It is not difficult, but it can require a bit of creativity.
Adult educators have a unique challenge in working with their students. In some cases they have forgotten how to learn and in other scenarios they have forgotten how to behave! But one rotten apple doesn’t need to ruin the whole bunch.
Image via Flickr by Michael Bentley
In my class, How to Teach It, one of the most common questions I get is how to deal with difficult students. For most of us, difficult students are not common, but their rarity makes them much more challenging as we are often caught unprepared, without a plan of action. In this 3-part series we will look at categories of challenging students, “defensive” techniques to minimize occurrences and suggestions for managing them when they inevitably do show up in class.