Teaching and Vulnerability

When a man/woman/girl/boy out there wants to learn something new, they are in turn making themselves vulnerable. They are trusting the teacher to give them accurate feedback/accurate information and reinforcement of the subject. If the teacher cuts them down during this period of vulnerability, by scolding them for information which is still unknown…how exactly is the student supposed to learn? More importantly, how is the student supposed to learn with confidence?  Will the student learn the lesson, or give up due to the constant negative reinforcement?

From life experience and observance, I have seen the way negative reinforcement versus positive reinforcement can help and/or hinder the lesson which is attempting to be mastered. While I was traveling in my travel trailer, I stopped in Sedona, Arizona. I met a man named Brian.  Brian was a brilliant musician, and was very kind with a warm smile and a heart of gold. When I would wake up late in the morning, I could hear him playing his guitar down by the creek while he sat surrounded by yellow columbines. One day we were at the table between our travel trailers talking about music. He sat next to me, and told me some things I didn’t know about my banjo. Then Brian went on to tell me about a challenging session with the student…who just couldn’t get it right. I asked if he told him that he was doing things wrong. Brian exclaimed, “Oh no! You must never tell a man or woman they are doing things wrong! This is just his way of learning. You just offer different ways of learning in this scenario.” I learned a lot from Brian that day.

If you cut someone down, then how exactly are they supposed to grow, and learn the subject at hand with confidence? Do not ask the student questions which you know they will unable to answer correctly, and then scold them for them for doing so. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, and of what would be commonly known as bullying behavior. Also a big error is to scold the student for asking questions, or to judge the student to reminding them of a part of the lesson. Practice makes perfect. My point is to be kind while teaching others a new skill. They are putting themselves out there in a vulnerable state, and trusting you to do what is right.

Don’t be a dick.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s