All of us learn new things every day. It may be something small, or some huge new discovery. But something links all this learning. There is one essential thing that we all have when we learn something. So what is this mysterious “thing?”
Simple. We all have a teacher.
Now, some of you may be thinking that that’s not quite true. Sometimes you study things on your own. I know I’m not always in class when I learn things. But I didn’t say all learning happens in class. I said all learning happens with a teacher.
Types of teachers
Think of the last time you read a book or article that taught you something. The author of that article was teaching you something through writing. The author is your teacher.
Let’s take another example. You see someone do something impressive, like score a great goal on a football field. You decide to try to do the same thing. You may not realise it, but you will be unconsciously copying what you observed about the person who scored the goal. That person acts as the benchmark of what works; that person is the teacher in this scenario.
The point I’m trying to make is that whenever you pick up a book, watch a tv show, or just observe someone doing something in life, and you learn from them, that person is teaching you something.
However, sometimes teachers need to be more directly involved in learning. The champion athlete has a dedicated coach, just like the dedicated student has a tutor. The more direct involvement the teacher has, the more you as the student will learn.
Think about it: if you are enrolled in a class and the teacher is available to take questions, doesn’t that make it easier to improve? Sure, the textbook can provide lots of help, but when you get stuck, you have to consult some other book or website (ANOTHER TEACHER). Having someone there to teach you is honestly the best way to learn.
Good and Bad Teachers
Not all teachers are equal. Some are great at teaching, and some are not. The trick is learning how to identify the good teachers, which I give more attention to in this article. Find yourself a good teacher, and you will soar. I will also be writing an article on all the traits to look for in a teacher in future, so look out for that.
Information vs Education Courses
Some people are very fond of online courses, some of which are not interactive at all. You sign up, and you are given lecture slides and maybe some videos. There is no teacher, and no one to help you if get stuck. If that is what you consider having a good teacher, you might as well just buy a textbook. These types of courses are essentially glorified textbooks. You’re paying for information, not guidance and expertise. Most people do these courses, complete the assignments, and have learned next to nothing. It is not tailored for you to learn.
On the other hand, the courses where people offer live support, and are personally involved with their students are much more effective. Not only do you have a teacher who knows the material and can explain the specific things you have problems with, you also have someone who actively wants to make sure you learn. THIS is education. Having someone actively invested in teaching you makes a tangible difference.
When you buy an online course that sells information, their obligation to you is over as soon as you get access to the materials. They have been paid and it is done.
An education course, however, means the teacher is actively involved the whole way through. There is constant monitoring of your progress, and the classes are usually much smaller to make sure each student can get individual help through the duration of the course.
As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of education courses. I’ve done both types, and the information courses can be useful, but only as an add-on to having a real teacher. I would rather make sure I have someone who wants me to learn.
How can I, as a teacher, help you?
Seeing as I run a math blog, dedicated to math tips and educational things of all kinds, it’s safe to assume that education and math are two things I consider interesting. If you are a math student looking to improve, or a math enthusiast struggling to learn something new, let me know.
I offer coaching on Fundamental Math concepts, which is tailored to what you want to learn. Send me an email, and I’ll get back to you. We can set up a time to talk about what you want to learn, and if you are still interested, you will be enrolled in my coaching programme. The initial consultation on what you need from me is free, and does not commit you to anything. If you and I both feel it is right for you, we can go ahead. If not, no hard feelings. Bear in mind that spots are limited, since I want to make sure I can provide individual attention to all my students.
As always, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter, where I will be posting updates and special offers.
My parting line, to anyone wanting to learn something new who is afraid of failing: YOU CAN DO IT! All it takes is the proper guidance, and some hard work from you.