Apr 13, 2011
To teach is to learn twice, so the saying goes. In grad school, developing as an educator is one of the most vital experiences anyone can have. Not only does it enhance your overall communication abilities (if you can begin to impart the value of Design to students, you’re one step closer to being able to explain it to Grandma at Thanksgiving dinner), but it can also make you keenly aware of what those who educated you may have had in mind while you were struggling in the classroom.
One of the more critical aspects of teaching, as strange as it sounds, is developing the ability to not rob your students. Now, I’m not talking about pick-pocketing here. I’m talking about not robbing students of their educational experience. It takes great skill to know what information to provide to individual students and when to give it. A good educator knows how to point the way and guide a student to make his or her own discoveries and decisions and allow each student to learn from his or her own struggles, experiences, failures, and even successes.
Think back to those educators who helped carve out who you are. Chances are the ones you learned the most from were the ones who challenged you to think and discover for yourself, and not the ones who left a breadcrumb trail to one of many possible answers.