To teach is to learn twice- Joseph Jourbet
During summer vacation one year when I was still in college, I came back home and got a job as a temporary teacher deep in rural Zimbabwe teaching Religion, one of my majors.
I entered with totally no idea what I was doing. I had learnt in the American system and these kids used the British system. I had diversified studying all religions from around the world and yet these kids had concentrated on Christianity. Frankly, I had personally been studying to improve my grades instead of actually learning.
Here I was faced with an exam class that needed positive input from their new teacher. I was also faced with an introductory class for whom I was anxious to set a firm foundation. I did not want these students to fail on my watch or for any one of them to think I was not qualified enough. So I got the syllabus and buried myself in the library; absorbing as much as I could before commencing each lecture.
The results were amazing. I got a deeper understanding of each one of the topics and at certain times standing there in front of the class I would get a new idea, a spark of inspiration to explore the ideas even further.
I do not run this blog because I have arrived at the pinnacle of my success. I still struggle with money. I still struggle with impatience and dreading risk. I am not a perfect man. But if you ask me if I have improved since starting to write on this blog in 2008 I will say by a hundred miles. Teaching pushes you to research more, to experience more things that you can share with your audience be it in a formal classroom or outside of it. When we share information we grow. Look at the internet. As more people share online, I see a growth in the number of people who learn about their interests everyday.
Today, I encourage you to learn. Find yourself a person to mentor. Find yourself a protege in your field and share your experience and knowledge. It doesn't matter if you do not know enough; that process will ensure you learn more and will push you to live as an example to your students and to your teachings. He who teaches learns twice.
As a thank you for you for reading this blog and sharing this journey with me, I would like to offer you an EXCLUSIVE peek into my debut novel 'Changes' which I started writing when I was teaching in rural Zimbabwe (a result of being holed in the library all day). Click Here to Download. Tell me what you think.
Here is to a better you
PS: My students passed more than any other stream at the school. I taught them to ask questions instead of answering them and then sharing with others. That, is the greatest model of learning.