Sep 112012
 

People read for many reasons. Some are consummate learners, always seeking ways to improve their standing and empower themselves, some love a great story and some depending on what they are reading love punishment (ha ha—not you and certainly not anything on this site right!).

But really now, you are here probably for information or to hang out with like-minded artisans; hopefully you will get what you are looking for and then some and have fun in the process. To learn one does not have to be bogged down with a lot of highfalutin terminology. Some people learn by pictures, some by reading while many still by hearing. There are countless ways to learn.

Unfortunately we as humans tend to classify anyone who does not learn the same way we do. We usually relegate them to the dunce corner and pray they would sit quietly or melt into oblivion.

Where It All Started

Initially I was not a good student in my school years. I had a lot of fears. I heard more can’ts in my head than I heard you can. I met one of my school teachers after I was married and had kids. Her mouth dropped open when I spoke to her; she couldn’t believe I was speaking. She claimed I was painfully shy in school.

There have been many teachers in my lifetime who were very nice but I don’t recall anyone reaching in and pulling me out of the terrifying despair that I felt; perhaps they couldn’t see it.  I was afraid that I was as I was teased; dumb, with no hope for the future. Of course what was said was magnified times over in my little mind but it became my reality nonetheless.

When Hope Knocks On Your Door

That changed in Montverde, Florida when the president of the high school called me in after recently being transferred from a school in the United Kingdom. He was the first to tell me, Teri you can do this; I have complete faith in you. Mr. Walter Stephens didn’t know me from the man in the moon but that day was the beginning of my freedom from poor grades.

Mr. Stephens challenged me with tasks well beyond what I thought I could do. For the next two years of high school I was on the honor roll and in the Beta Club, an honor society because one man, a stranger, took interest in the future of a little island girl.

All it took was someone to believe in me; someone to say, “Hey, Teri you can do it!” and incidentally, he was privy to my poor grades. As an educator did he see past my pain to my potential? Isn’t that what most students need?  I did; but not only kids need a hand up.

Words Have Power

Words do have power. I believe they have power to kill or to give life. Irresponsible, unkind words started the ugly cycle in my life but positive words helped me to jump off a sinking ship and swim to shore. Now even if no-one else encourages me with with positive words, I’ve learned how to reject the negative and to speak the positive over myself.

So if you were like me; locked away in my fears, hoping Scotty would beam me up before every exam or important encounter; then I want to be a Mr. Stephens to you. I want you to know, that despite your age, you can dream big, you can overcome the odds that beset you; I believe you can do it and you will!

Let’s Get Real

Several years ago I started taking classes to equip myself in any and every area I had a need or interest. There were web development classes, ebook development, handbag classes, tutorials you name it. I took them live and on the internet. It was three days in to one of my classes when I quit after recognizing that all teachers were not equal. Just because there is technical knowledge and a warm personality doesn’t mean that they have the ability to impart that knowledge effectively.

I left that class heavy-hearted but feeling a nudge to train others in a way that was easily digestible without playing cat and mouse with what they had come to learn. I ignored the nudged for several years until embarking on other courses and determining that this was just epidemic. Did these professionals intentionally withhold critical information to stress me out?

Do You Really Want Me to Learn this Stuff?

While I was asking the question in my heart, some brave soul posted the same sentiments in the online class forum. The instructor, an industry professional claimed he wanted the students to figure some things out for themselves. The problem was he did not lay a proper foundation first. He missed the entire purpose of having the class; we could have tried that without signing up. Students enroll to learn; not to fumble around in the dark wasting time and being so frustrated that they eventually quit.

As students, it is important to be able to think processes through; the days of simply memorizing are hopefully gone unless it is coupled with understanding and practical application. Most adult students take classes as a matter of choice to glean information to function at a higher level in their area; not just for the piece of paper at the end of a session.

My Joy

So my journey began; first to teach; to share my knowledge in a friendly and systematic way that anyone could apply. My approach became a step-by-step method for people who are more visual, hands-on learners like myself.

There is absolutely no greater joy for a teacher (okay for me) when a student gets it; even the cranky ones who turn the class upside down with their complaints before even trying. But oh the joy and laughter we share when together we have overcome the hurdles of can’t and won’t and press on to “I will do it”…and they do just that! 

  2 Responses to “This is Why I Teach”

Comments (2)
  1. EXCELLENT. That was so motivating and uplifting. I would love for every child, struggling or otherwise to have a Mr. Walter in their life. Your worlds are encouraging to me as well. As a matter of fact, I was just mentioning to my husband that you provide the best feed-back on my assignments, always the compliments first and building me up and boosting my confidence with tips and points that would just make my products better and at the same time making me feel good about what I had done, even though it wasn’t a 100% perfect. But, that was what made me work harder to strive for perfection. I am not there yet but, I know I have a cheerleader in you, my teacher, Ms. Bethel.

  2. Dianne we all have a story don’t we. I’m hoping my story would help others so that they would be free to be the best they could possibly be. Oh, by the way, it’s a joy teaching a hungry student. You are so diligent I am thrilled that you are selling so many of your handbags after just learning the techniques a short time ago. You listen, watch and do.

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