Everyone has had someone that was able to “break through” to them on a teaching level. For me, it was my third grade teacher. I detested math, hated when that period came around each day, and spent most of my morning devising how to miss mathematics (I think I had a lot of stomach aches that year. The school nurse and I were “tight”). Then came along Mrs. O’Connor- she not only loved teaching, but she exuded excitement about getting kids to love subjects they didn’t even like previously. It was a goal of hers to change our minds about learning wherever she saw that we had a roadblock in place. She must have done a great job…because I love math now. Instead of seeing trigonometry as an impossible task, I view it as a brain teaser, just waiting to be unlocked, and that all started in third grade.
How did she do it? Well, back in third grade, I would have said it was magic! But looking back, I know it was more attention to detail, understanding learning styles, flexibility (and a whole lot of patience), along with a desire to make learning understandable, relevant, and fun.
In all of our roles, we have the opportunity to interact with people- students, peers, co-workers - to teach them a little bit about what we know. The old adage “teach a man to fish” not only helps the learner, but it helps the teacher as well. It’s a valuable art to be able to show our co-workers how to navigate certain systems or administer tasks on their own, rather than doing it for them time and time again. However, to get them there will often require more than just a set of step and action sequences.
Training, or teaching, is an art…and a science. It’s all about knowing your audience and the more ability you have to be flexible in the way you present materials, the better you will be at reaching your desired audience. Take a look at this SlideShare which provides some tips on Training as an Art and a Science and view some valuable tips about successful training practices.