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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaching or sitting in workshops - The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

There are a lot of pros and cons for the Teacher and the student when faced with so many different expectations. Most blurbs I read are about the horror or excitement of the student. Not a lot found on the trials and tribulations of the teacher, workshop leader, or the instructors.

The last workshop I taught the students came unprepared, they had a list of what was expected but were so accustomed to being disappointed that they arrived in an untimely manner and with that sort of monotone speaking voice thing people do when they expect to be bored or disappointed.

Well, when they left it was a totally different story. Their mouths dropped open during the session many times and the comments were on the order of 'this is exactly what I wanted to learn' so what is my concern as the instructor? The amount of energy it takes to pump up the group to be in a receptive mood and to open their eyes, ears, and yes their hearts to receive, was enormous. Keeping everyone involved and excited about what they were doing, having dragged or hauled extra...just in case supplies was a God send, but tiring.

Think about it...when you go to a class and you are pumped up and excited...and the instructor is great and knowledgeable, more knowledgeable than you even is terrific. When the instructor is reading out of the book only one step ahead of you is a drag and so disappointing that most people lose interest and even stop working.

So what's main point here...if you pay for a class, or someone else pays, or the instructor volunteers to share information that they have spent years or months even learning for the purpose of sharing with you...make the most of it. Come prepared for a great class. Accept what is being taught and if you are listening very carefully even a class where you should have signed up for the next level, as if you could figure that out before hand - not, there are some gems to be had. Look for them, if you learn a few things and you continue in the field of interest they will come in handy. There is a reason you are there beyond what you signed up or showed up for. Try it, if you do, you will walk away from every training experience with something powerful.

For the trainer, instructor, or teacher every experience sheds light on how to present the information in different ways based on the last set of students they had. In this new world of technology I have found that one thing has not changed, human nature, human types, human likes and dislikes. After you have taught for ten or twenty years you can look out on the class after just a few minutes with the students and actually pick out certain types. The beauty of this is two fold, you will either be absolutely right or you will be surprised. I hope the surprises are all blessings and the times you are right you will receive them with humility.

Regards,
Ms. V

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