What skills do you have those other folks don’t have access to? What have you learned, that you can share with the world, in a way that provides for you and your family? See this is the fundamental lesson teachers failed to impart to me. Anyone can be a teacher, you just have to know what it is you’re teaching.
I didn’t realize that my experience as a victim of domestic abuse and child pedophiles, would be teachable for others to keep their kids safe, but now that I do, I am learning what to say and what not to say and how to present my story in a way that educates without causing harm.
This is new for me because I’m used to a much more blunt way of speaking, as you all know from reading the blog.
Teaching is not a simple task. You have to present your educational tools in a way that others are willing to consume, and unless they are genuinely passionate about a subject, most people won’t want to learn.
Needing to learn something and wanting to learn something are two different types of learning, and if you don’t “need” it, sometimes people will only consume what they are willing and able to consume, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re willing to take in everything you say.
So, how do you present a lesson plan that is accessible to as many people as possible? In particular, when you have a “classroom” that is filled with people who have a variety of accessibility needs?
When I was a kid, I couldn’t have open and honest conversations with my teachers about why I wasn’t learning as fast as the other kids, I didn’t know how. As an adult, I know I need a little more structure, but I also need to go at my own pace.
“Structure” for me, isn’t the same as “structure” for my friend Kate, we learn in completely different ways. So for me, I prefer to study on my own, on my own time, when I’m in the mood. Kate might decide to do it differently and may prefer a classroom setting where she can ask questions.
Understanding the needs of your students, and being willing to meet them halfway through is what makes teachers truly great.
In today’s world of climate and racial denial, it’s really easy to blame the student – it always has been – but more and more cops are coming to classrooms and arresting children for “behaving badly,” when in reality these kids just don’t learn in the same way as their peers.
I had to teach myself how to teach, others, and I’m actually pretty good at it, but because I don’t have formal training, I’m conditioned to believe that I’m not capable because I didn’t finish school.
Today I have students all over the world, and while I need to practice my skills a lot, I also know that these skills are going to take me a lot further if I start exercising them and using them as often as possible, than if I refuse to acknowledge them at all.
For my 4th birthday, my grandfather Babu bought me a chalkboard. I was only allowed to use it for special occasions so I didn’t wreck it (seriously his son was fucked in the head), but either way, I enjoyed the hell out of teaching all my students.
Teddybears and walls alike, and now here I am, all these years later, actually using this blog to help others figure out what they already knew but didn’t know how to acknowledge or embrace.
What can you do that no one else can do? Do that, you’ll be amazing, I promise.
If you have thoughts you’d like to add about this post, please leave a message, and let’s talk about them,
Sending All My Love,
Devon J Hall and Krisya Ohana