Summer is over. I start my job as a school music teacher again this week. And no, my colleagues and students have no idea that I'm a singer/songwriter with tunes like "George R.R. Martin Is Not Your Bitch" and "Pr0nbot" to his credit.
Teachers continuously evaluate a student's understanding of the material. Mastery occurs when a student can take what they know and teach it to another student. So, one of the most effective ways to improve your skills is to teach.
Teaching forces you to examine every aspect of your craft. Clear articulation of the subject matter is crucial. And once you do that, you then have to find ten more ways to explain it. You can't learn something from a single exposure. Students need multiple auditory, visual and kinesthetic experiences in order to truly understand.
Devising a lesson plan exposes the gaps in your knowledge, and you better fill those gaps because students will ask you about the shit you don't know. That being said, saying "I don't know" may be one of the most powerful things you can say as a teacher. You aren't infallible. Say: "I don't know," research that shit after class and work your new knowledge into your next lesson.
Which is my entire point. Good teachers are constantly expanding their knowledge base. Which is why the: "Those who can't do, teach" expression is such a colossal pile of festering dog shit.
Now, becoming a school teacher isn't for everybody. But, there are so many ways that you can incorporate teaching into your creative life:
- Write a blog
- Record a podcast
- Create an instructional YouTube video
- Teach a "How-To" course at your local library
Through educationally focused blogging and podcasting, Chuck Wendig and Mur Lafferty have become two of the best genre fiction writing teachers out there.
Don't think that improved their writing?
They were both nominated for the Campbell Award (best new science fiction/fantasy writer) this year.
Do You Teach?
How Does Teaching Help You As a Creator?
Let me know by replying in the comments below.
Have a great week!