Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teach me

There are just some things in life that need a teacher in order to be taught. Learning on your own through trial and error, looking up Youtube and other instructional videos, following recipes, reading books... for some tasks, these resources can only take you so far. I find that I learn a task the best when it is taught personally to me- I find it harder to forget afterwards and there's always an imprint of the process through which I learned. 

A teacher provides experience and guidance, something that can't always be achieved through text or even video on the internet. Having that person by you to correct your mistakes and to offer encouragement and advice boosts the rate of learning tremendously. I remember all the paper airplane designs my brother taught me when we were both young, even now...they have much deeper significance than the designs I learned through an hour of toiling and scratching my head over a page in a book.

It also helps if that teacher is someone you trust or can relate to. And you can relate to someone even if they are 20 years older than you, the thing is to share understanding. A good teacher will know what it feels like to be the student, to be in the situation where they are struggling and need pointers. They will know where all the pitfalls and shortcuts are, and can offer personal advice. But a good teacher doesn't need to be a hired tutor, or private coach, or have any sort of "qualifications"- often the best teachers are your peers and the people around you that you see every day. 

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