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:
- Lament that fact that no one ever trained you everything you need to know to be the most dynamic 4-H agent ever.
- 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.