To teach his own 3


I’m guest lecturing next week in a class on mass communications. Which means preparing a lesson plan, reading the textbook chapter, making PowerPoint slides and more.

It helps that I like teaching, I like older kids, and I’m a ham. Not necessarily in that order.


I volunteered to talk about new media, considering that my own foray has been reasonably successful. I met new friends, learned how to set up a site, how to write for an online audience and even landed work.

Back in college, I served as a teaching assistant for a public speaking class. In some ways, it was the ideal preparation for working in the classroom. The tenets of public speaking — know your audience, rehearse, do your homework, smile — are crucial to teaching effectively.

But it’s not a lock. You can have a great lesson plan and not connect. Students are distracted by all sorts of things: hormones, an exam they just failed in the class before, an exam they haven’t studied for in the next period, hormones, your bad tie, the big game, and so on.

Engaging students is what teachers do best, or worst. If a teacher doesn’t care about the topic — or worse, the students — it shows.

What you have to say as a teacher isn’t automatically important because you happen to be standing at the front of the room. And not every student is going to come away with the same info.

It ain’t perfect, but it’s how we all got here.

I like teaching, especially when I don’t have to read the essays or grade the tests. For me, swooping in is fun. And in the classroom, if I’m not having fun, ain’t no one having fun.

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