Lesson Number 1
The beginning of the successful instructional approach begins by putting aside formalities and being human. The teacher humbly understands that teaching and learning is a journey where both teach and both learn from the process. Instruction is given while the ability to listen to the student’s verbal and non-verbal communication is taught by the learner to the teacher. It is then a matter of perspective, a metacognitive outlook (thinking about out thinking and how we approach the world with our thought process) that outlines the further success and progression of the teaching and learning experience.
Clear understanding of this principle is paramount to facilitate surpassing potential for instructor and instructed. Again, the beginning of the successful instructional approach begins by dropping pretenses and simply being genuine. This is the secret to my success and the success of my students.
The awareness of the impact of verbal and non-verbal communication is wisdom worth heeding to for anyone, especially the teacher who banks on creating a successful educational environment. Mindfulness of ‘how we say what we say,’ which is paraverbal awareness becomes an overarching success amplifier. Likewise, ignorance and disregard of paraverbal impact during instruction can singlehandedly usher in failure by communicating a lack of manners and respect for the student. We then communicate a great deal by our posture, facial expression, tone of voice, pace of speech, and word emphasis. How we manage and orchestrate our communication across these parameters literally puts our heart on the instructional table for the student to see. It is then up to them how to respond to the way they were spoken to.
Intangible safeguards can be brought into place and focus by the consummate teacher, yet it requires that the teacher know who they are, that they be behind their purpose with an epic commitment to empowering and bring an epic heart to their job. This requires being caring and nurturing of oneself first. We can not help facilitate lasting empowerment if we ourselves are not taking care of ourselves in a balanced way. The instructional perspective becomes tinged and eventually the student realizes that we are not ‘all in’ in a genuine and sincere way. That is just the way it is. Hearts can not be fooled for too long. Thus, the successful teacher understands that they are constant learners also on a journey. This is humility which is picked up like a frequency, or bandwidth in the learning environment. Suddenly, the playing field is leveled and we all become learners on different points of a continuum.
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