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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The take-away

Wrote this in response to something Rory posted. Figured I would throw it here. It is not a perfectly formed thought.

One of the challenges of teaching is that you can’t control the “take-away”.

Story time: I knew a guy who, upon his first exposure to Tony Blauer (who, if you’ve ever trained with him, talks a lot in terms of principles, concepts, etc.), came away with “he showed some kind of spear thing (makes gesture like a Tactical SPEAR)”. That was it.

Of course, the flip side is that I’ve occasionally had one or two students ask me questions about a drill because they’re trying to get to the underlying principle behind it. Those moments are cool. They make me think really hard.

There’s that old saw about how when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I think it works the other way too: the student will only learn what they are ready to learn. Stuff that may seem obvious and unimportant to you may be a huge light bulb moment for someone else. (Interestingly, the same students that ask me hard questions are sometimes the ones who have light bulbs about the really obvious stuff. No idea why.) That’s part of the challenge and the fun of teaching.

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