Above all…I am a Teacher

I have a confession…

My least favorite question, and the one I consistently struggle with answering is…

“So what do you?”

Seriously?  As a 4-H professional, what DON’T I do?  (Note- that answer is not taken well, don’t try that one at home kids).

However, above all things, I believe we are teachers.  Think about some examples:
*  Formal programs- teaching
*  Mentoring a potential new club leader- teaching
*  Coaching a young person through a decision making process- teaching
*  Guiding your 4-H Association through program planning- teaching
*  Association work and networking with other colleagues-  teaching

Obviously, my definition of “teaching” isn’t constrained to the formal process of standing before a sizeable group and progressing through a lesson plan.  “Teaching” encompasses many thing we do on a regular basis.

Why then, do we spend so little time learning how to teach?  Unless you came into this profession with a formal education background, you probably got little training.  So what do you do?  As I see it, in most instances like this you have two options:

  1.  Lament that fact that no one ever trained you everything you need to know to be the most dynamic 4-H agent ever.
  2. Determine that it is something that you need to address yourself in your professional development plan.  (Remember those- in POW/ROA?)

Obviously, I suggest #2.

If you go with my suggestion, I suggest checking out some of the following sources for your own professional development:

Edutopia: Teaching Strategies
New Teacher Survival Guide (A video playlist)
Lynda.com (Remember, we get FREE access to all sorts of training as UF faculty and staff).  Search for courses under Education + ELearning for a ton of options.



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