Teaching Is Learning

pam-paintingIt 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?

4 thoughts on “Teaching Is Learning

    1. Judy Schafers

      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.

  1. Julie Kaldenhoven

    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.

    1. Judy Schafers

      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!


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