I mentioned in my post last Friday (marking the onslaught of the weekend without knitting - which was true, by the way) that I was about to embark upon an amazing journey. Obviously, based on the title of this post, I was successful. However, I'll go one step farther and say that I learned a lot not only about how to be an Instructor, but also about myself - as a person.
The class was really exhausting, but way more so mentally than physically. We spend the weekend doing impromptu presentations (3 minutes Saturday morning, 6 minutes Saturday afternoon and then 25 minutes on Sunday morning) covering the Laws. I consider myself to be a pretty good speaker, and also an "ok" instructor, so I'm confident that bringing those skills to the class put me on a very firm footing. What I wasn't prepared for was realizing that I am *not* like everyone else.
(Treading carefully, here - they don't call it an ego trip for nothing)
Growing up, I was the smart kid. Yeah, I got 100% on all the tests, blew the curves for the rest of the class, and genuinely ENJOYED learning. School (the academic part, anyway) was really wonderful for me. This was true all the way through high school and even in to the first few years of college. I got a bit dose of reality when I took subjects I really had to study for (this was even more true when I went for my Master's Degree and realized I'd forgot Calculus) but I still knew that book-learnin' just isn't that hard for me.
I just never realized that the same is true for teaching. There were a few people in the class that just clearly didn't get it. Even worse, one of those people had a background that would lead you to believe he should have excelled at this stuff. But honestly, folks just weren't getting it. For me, however, I just was able to sit down and DO this stuff (or stand up, as the case may be). I was confident, smiling, and able to deliver just the message I wanted to deliver - and made people WANT to listen to me. I'd been told before that I'm good at this, I'd just never SEEN it before. Wow.
So, where does this leave me? I'll say that I now feel I have a duty to share this - and also to do more of this. When I was up in front of the class, I was JUICED. It took a lot out of me (amazingly, I'm actually a rather shy person) but it really was fun! Better still, the instructors (one was stellar, the other also needs work) were genuinely excited to get me up in front of students. And, the best part of all - I get to replace some folks that I just KNOW are not very good.
Finally, I'm going to have a real impact on this stuff. Refereeing is such a wonderful thing for me and has given me so much joy (as well as heartbreak, BTW); I'm just tickled to know that I'll have the opportunity to do for some other person what my instructors have done for me.
God - I hope I'm up to it. Actually, I am up to it. Go, me. GO!