We do it every day and, still, we're not perfect at it. Well, at least, I'm not perfect at being an instructor yet. But what I really like about the work of teaching students at the college level is exactly that: I'm learning every day how to do my job better. Perfection is fantasy, so my eye is on continual progress instead.
I like to think of instructors' work as ongoing and never-ending professional development in real time: We deliver the lesson. We assess how effective our plan was. We revise it. We do it again. And so on... Our learning is practical, in real time, and the rewards are tangible, when we're willing to keep practicing in order to keep making progress in our craft.
Sometimes, it's as simple as asking a colleague for feedback on a new assignment I've developed. Sometimes, it's more complicated and involves me asking a peer if I can watch how they deliver a lesson I'm not yet fully confident delivering myself. I have gained a lot from this particular method of learning my craft; for example, I still use the approach and the activities for teaching about conflict management that I learned by watching Teresa Menzies deliver that module to her students.
For me, teaching is not a solo act. For me, it takes a village to get a lesson delivered, and my peers are my village neighbours. I rely on them to be willing to work with me as I continue to make progress in my practice.
What things, big or small, do you do to continue making progress in your teaching practice? Sign in above, then comment below to join the conversation.
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