Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why Do I Teach?

As a part of a professional development program I am currently pursuing with the University of Victoria, I was asked to reflect on my learning biography and some of the key influences that have shaped my values, beliefs and attitudes about adult learning and education. As I reflected on my learning journey thus far, I found myself thinking about why do I walk this path. 

I have been in the adult learning/training industry for 17 years and haven't had an opportunity to write about my passion for doing what I do. So, here it is: #WhydoIteach?

WHY do I teach? 

"…the teacher and the learner reside within each of us and that it is this ebb and flow of giving and receiving that feeds our passion and fascination with learning." - Janet Groen, Colleen Kawalilak, Pathways of Adult Learning, Professional and Education Narratives, 2014 (Pg. 14).

I am a true believer of this statement and it provides an excellent premise for why I am so passionate about learning. For me, to teach is to learn. I am enthusiastic about lifelong learning and I find training others as a way to teach and learn. In my practice as an adult educator, I find immense satisfaction in being a part of my learners’ journey and I see myself both as a facilitator and a partner along the way. What motivates me about teaching others is the idea that I am positively impacting their lives and making a difference and they are doing the same for me; that this relationship is of equals who give and take.

WHAT do I teach?

I strive to spark curiosity, enthusiasm and appreciation of the opportunities for learning that life presents us. I work towards building supportive relationships with individuals. I try and encourage them to find their true potential by becoming critical thinkers who are interested in learning and development. Through my efforts, I want to help individuals learn how to learn and enable them to be more self-directed in their efforts.

HOW do I learn and grow? 

I self-evaluate my work by seeking feedback from learners and clients. I use every opportunity to improve my skills through continuing education and professional development courses. I also use my blog as a tool for self-reflection. I consult with my mentors and personal learning network and share and show my work to get feedback from others.
My goal is to keep working towards nurturing and developing myself as the seed for learning conversations and to be that integral node through which individuals can connect with knowledge, peers and experts.

Now that you know why I do what I do, I am curious to hear your story. Why do YOU teach? 

PS: I use the terms 'teaching and training' to mean the practice of adult education including the design of learning experiences and not necessarily being an instructor in a classroom.