Here’s a fun fact: there’s a difference between teaching and performing.
I love doing both. I love helping other people learn stuff that I enjoyed learning. I also love showing off what I’ve taught myself. But sometimes, when I’ve learned something really useful and go to teach someone else, it turns into me showing off and them learning nothing.
Because I’m a performer more than I am a teacher.
When I talk to people, it turns into a speech. When I show someone something, I have to do it perfectly. I always feel like I have to nail the result, even though learning is a constant struggle.
To a point, teachers are performers. They have to know what they’re doing. They have to be able to do everything they’re trying to teach, so that they can lead by example. Along with that, they have to put a skill into understandable words, break it down into achievable steps, and guide others through the same journey they just completed. It’s even more complicated than just performing.
But teachers don’t have to be perfect.
The best way to learn is to teach yourself. A good teacher won’t guide you step-by-step to every conclusion you make— they’ll help you think in a way that allows you to figure out many different things. It doesn’t matter, then, if the teacher knows every answer or not. As long as the teacher can point you in the right direction, you can figure it out yourself.
To a point, performers are teachers. If you watch someone perform successfully time and time again, you can eventually reverse-engineer their method and figure out how to replicate it. It takes a while. It isn’t as easy as letting them teach you. But sometimes, people can’t teach, or just don’t. So you figure it out yourself. (more…)