Sunday, July 02, 2006

About teaching and teachers

This week has made me gain even more respect for anyone that teaches. I taught a five-day course covering the complete Linux+ certification. Overall, the course went fantastically. As I expected, there were as many lessons learned by me as by the students. I encourage you to consider teaching a class on any subject you are interested in. You do not have to be an expert on the matter. As I learned, you do need to make a serious commitment of time and effort. You need to prepare for the whole class ahead of time. You need a plan of action for each part of the course. Each day, you need to thoroughly prepare for the next day's session, as well as review the previous day's class to make sure you covered all critical points. If this sounds like a lot of work I confess that it is. In the end, however, it is all worthwhile when students thank you for your efforts. And do not expect perfection in either the classroom, the equipment, the students or yourself. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Things will go wrong and your students will respect you if you calmly tackle each problem; enlist their help and you will begin to build a team. Finally, you do not have to know it all or have all answers to all questions. Encourage your students to research those along with you. Always give honest answers, even if they sometimes may be "I don't know but I will get back to you with a response." Above all, have fun!

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