It certainly seems to be true that as the student learns, so does the teacher. Recently, I have done more painting instruction than ever and thought it would be interesting to observe what I learned in the process.
The most intriguing observation has been that even if everyone works on the same project the result is always different. This is so fascinating! I also learned:
- That everyone hears, interprets and remembers points discussed and practiced differently
- That being open to others’ ideas and their responses to my instruction adds to my learning and filters down
- That demonstrations are as important as student practice time
- That I need continued practice in communicating clearly
- That students need play by play descriptions of why and what I am doing during demonstrations; they want clues about my thought process
- That teaching others to paint has made me dissect and question my own processes
- That I must not become attached to the outcome of the student’s project
- That patience for the learning process is something that students need to be reminded of often
- That even seasoned painters often come to class lacking a certain level of confidence
- That each person can earn a lot more if I take the time to watch them work, and am responsive to their difficulties
- That students need to be reminded often that it is ok to make mistakes and not let fear paralyse them
- That every stroke is an experiment
- That how little I really know
- That just because some students are whining or very quiet, doesn’t mean they are not having fun!
I am positive that there is a lot more to learn! If you are an instructor, what would you add to this list?
Good observations. I will keep them in mind while I teach classes.
Thank you for your comments, Gail! I am sure I will learn more next time. I would love to hear your observations from teaching too. I think that would be an interesting conversation.
Very observant of you Judy! Thank you especially for the comment about not taking a student’s progress personally. I learned so much through teaching too, especially all of the preconceptions about art and painting! I often felt my role was more of a psychological than educational nature – to try to nudge people past their deeply rooted, and often unrealistic, fears.
I so appreciate your insightful comments, Julie! You have a lot more experience in this arena than I do. I could learn a Lot from you!