Re: Teaching

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Posted by Dave Tucker on February 10, 1999 at 11:34:54:

In Reply to: Teaching posted by Chris Whiteman on February 09, 1999 at 21:32:55:

Great advice from the above! Wow!

I learned something very important from my instructor at Florida State, Paul Ebbers (a wonderful teacher). This point has been alluded to in the previous posts but it has proven to be the most crucial element in my growth.

A teacher really doesn't teach you anything. A teacher's prime job is to be a facilitator of growth. Just as a child learns to walk on his own through emulation and persistence, a student of anything should learn in a similar fashion. A teacher is like a loving parent. He provides encouragement, room for failure and a model for which to strive. He fosters a climate of exploration and the student who really wants to learn siezes this climate and progresses at his own rate (another point previously alluded to).

Some people disagree with this "passive" approach to instructing and fill students' heads with numbers, proportions and shallow analogies. There's a difference, however, between indifference and the ability to know when to get the heck out of the way. If a student is doing something grossly wrong you steer him in the right direction, you don't grab his hand and run with him.

Lucky for us, no one tried to verbally teach us how to walk. If children learned how to talk before they learned how to walk, we'd have a lot of crawling adults in our society!!! "Left foot THEN right foot, stupid! Maintain your center of gravity! Use your toes as balancing agents! Slower! Faster! Shoulders back! Chin up!" Can you imagine?

Sorry for the rant. Just something that's worked for me.

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