5 Lessons Regarding Teaching

Two of my favorite things to do is teach and learn. Here are five things that I have learned about teaching:

1. Teaching is a universal pursuit-everyone does it.

Teaching is not defined to a classroom or a lecture hall. Teaching is something that happens consistently everyday, everywhere. Teaching is contributing growth; a giving of oneself to enrich the life of another, add skills, expand understanding and it creates individuals to be successful.

2. Teaching that works versus teaching that fails.

This begins with ‘What’ the teaching is teaching, ‘How’ and to ‘Who’ the teaching is teaching. The most important factor to teaching that works versus teaching that fails is the relationship between the teacher and student. If there is a good relationship then the teacher will be able to teach anything. A bad relationship not so much and would be characterized as student put down, distrust, misunderstood, humiliated or critically evaluated.

3. Communication is the link.

Teaching and learning are two separate functions and two separate processes. With these two separate processes (Teacher/Student) going on at the same time there must be a link. That link is communication. Communication skills are not really complex but do require practice. The most primary skill used is talking which is something most of us do easily. Teacher effectiveness is not only the ability to talk but also requires the ability to foster two-way communication. Remember, It is the teachers responsibility that the listener understands what is being communicated, not the listener.

4. Teaching involves connection.

Jesus was one of the greatest teachers and here are a few things that we can learn from His example:

  • He had a ready interest in the needs of His students.
  • He was available.
  • He was never overbearing, Impatient, Tactless, Discourteous or vacillating.
  • He motivated His students so they could rise to heights beyond their own expectations.
  • He understood their limitations.

5. Teaching involves simplicity.

If you are going to teach then we must use a language that is understood by the listeners. There will be new terminology, but communications should be straight forward. Begin with an understanding of people. Reach people at their level of understanding. What was great about Jesus is that he used familiarity including the environment around Him to communicate and He also used visual aids. Questions are often used as a teaching tool.
Remember, we all teach and learn everyday and will to the day we die. It doesn’t matter if it is in a classroom, lecture hall, backyard, park, sports field, church, etc, we can all find ways to improve our teaching.