I feel that students always learn more from each other than they do from their professor. They learn by doing and not by trying to soak up information from one person.
I think I learn very slowly. I’m not a fast learner. It took me years to learn very basic code. I still feel very naïve when I’m coding. I think most people learn that way, and we as teachers are often forced into situations where we need to be very efficient with our lectures and our assignments. That’s really stressful.
I think the common mistake of a beginner teacher is giving too much: too much preparation and too much energy, too much love. They end up feeling burned out easily.
I learn best when I see a teacher working on a problem. If you have a code problem, you’re stuck, and you have an error, what do you do? You open up Stack Overflow. How do you search it? How do you fix things? Learning how to work through a problem is way more important than doing it the “right way.” I try to teach the emotional roller coaster of coding, which is similar to the experience of working on art and having breakthrough moments.
I teach because I want to be a student. I still go to classes a lot. Right now I’m learning American Sign Language, which is completely changing everything. I also do yoga. My yoga teacher is an amazing teacher: very generous and supportive. My teacher also takes other teachers’ classes. I think reciprocity is about always learning and respecting another. That’s the only way you could actually offer something.
I’ve been asked a few times to teach, but I always say no. I’m not sure I do something that can be taught. Maybe that sounds really romantic, but I feel like for me education was such a counterproductive experience. Maybe in a few years it’ll be more clear, but I don’t know. What can I say? Something like, ”I just collect random phrases and I’m not really sure why, I don’t even remember who wrote them.” I try to celebrate not knowing.