The other day it dawned on me I have been teaching for nearly a decade. Most of that time it's been teaching photography, and a short stint substitute teaching at a jr/sr high school while in college. Never having pursued a formal educational-education like a number of my friends, I kind of fell into teaching.
And I kind of fell hard. An opportunity was offered to me, I tried it, I liked it, and I realized I had something to offer. As I share with a number of my classes I love teaching the technical side of photography because after working through my dyslexia and learning all the dang math photography requires I was able to offer what I learned, in easy to understand terms (a lot of metaphors...a lot), and people responded.
Just last weekend I had a student get so excited at the end of our gentle introduction to photography lighting with an accessory flash that she just about burst out of her chair exclaiming, "I get it!" That made my whole long day worth every minute.
Now that one of my rolls has changed from "Lead Instructor" to "Educational Manager" at one of the last mom-and-pop photography retailers in Southern California, I'm looking at teaching from a new perspective. Now I'm hiring teachers.
It's made me think a lot about what I'm looking for in an instructor, what's important to me to make sure my students are safe and given an opportunity to learn in their classroom. As I've started the process four things have come to mind that I look for:
"Teaching is about the student, not about the teacher."
Let's start there. Next time I'll talk about the #1 thing I see (and work hard to prevent) in teaching environments that breaks learning down.
In the meantime, tell me about your learning experiences. Who were your best (most creative) teachers? How were they different? What is your best teaching tip? Share in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.