1 Jun 2012

Teach with a passion

This blog post has been underway for quite some time. It started last year when I was asked to do a talk about presentation skills at the annual conference in our teacher’s association.

As I sat down to prepare my talk, the first thing I did was put myself in the position of my audience (= teachers in the multimedia design field, like myself) – because that’s what you should always do when preparing a presentation (as you can read more about elsewhere on my blog).

To make the talk interesting for my peers, the major question the talk was going to answer for them was: how do we make lecturing more interesting? To have a basis for my talk, I decided to do a survey to figure out what was the most important for students when it came to a lecture. I asked this question:

“As a student, which of these statements do you find most important about a lecture/ presentation of a subject? (You can give multiple answers)”

And a little bit to my surprise, PASSION turned out to be of biggest importance.

So I’m in luck. Because formally, I’m not what academia would categorise as a “good” teacher, as I don’t have a university degree. But what I lack in formal training I would like to think I make up for in experience, and more importantly, passion for my profession – and for teaching others to become professionals in the field they love. It still makes me almost tear up when I think of one of my many, many fantastic students I’ve taught at NOMA who mid way during his second semester said to me: “I didn’t really know which way I was going until you introduced me to the world of UX. Now I know”. Guess what he works with today? :)

There are plenty of passionate professionals out there, who devote some of their time to inspire others. Like Hugo, who changes the world through creativity in his old school in Portugal. Or Code Club who has set out on a mission to teach kids in the UK to code after school.

But the people I want to reach here are the teachers; the ones who have the close, daily contact with the students. They – we – have to teach with a passion. Because when we do so, we have a chance to change our students’ lives; to introduce them to their future passion. Passion is contagious. And experiencing first hand when someone finds their passion – seeing that fire light up inside them – is amazing. And I feel privileged to be able to be a part of that.

So teachers: If you don’t have passion for what you do, I urge you to go find that passion. It will drive you forward and make you become even more amazing at what you do.

3 Comments

  • You are the most passionate teacher I have ever known :) Lucky me to have had you :)

  • Thank you so much, Arna :) It means more to me than I can probably express in words :)

  • I certainly agree that passion will grab your students. I’ve worked with children for 15 years and when I’m excited and show emotions and excitement about something, they become interested and excited.

 

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