How you teach is how you do everything – part 3: humble pie – there’s power in humility

‘How you teach is how you do everything’ is the title of a recent blog post written by Jen Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen, which I think is hands down, one of the most eloquent pieces on teaching I’ve read in a long time.

The post covers 8 points about teaching, which I’m following up with a series of posts on each point. You can read about the first, about ‘needy students sucking you dry’ here and the second, about being brave and bold here.

Here’s the third point.

Point #3

Some are arrogant: their experience, intelligence, or knowledge separates them from their students.

 Significance anybody?

Others let their experience, intelligence, and knowledge fuel their curiosity, connection, and humility and teach from those qualities.


My take on arrogance.

Arrogance in a teacher fuels a desire for one way communication a.k.a. ‘the lecture’ which Don Tapscott defines as when the notes of the lecturer go to the notes of the student without going through the brains of either.

Arrogance hides any opportunity for a trainer to learn from her/his participants.

Arrogance wipes out opportunities for access and inclusion (both in how one teaches and what one teaches).  It’s my way or the highway.  There’s one way to do things and it’s my way.  Diversity?  What’s that?

Whereas anchoring learning in lived experiences (e.g. experiential education), being willing to go wildly off ‘topic’, being humble and using your goofs and gaffes as opportunities for great learning (both for you and your participants) is fuel for the brain and the heart of learning.

Stay tuned for more posts about ‘how you teach is how you do everything’.

To find out more about the TeachNow series with Jen Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen (including an interview with yours truly) click here.


Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “How you teach is how you do everything – part 3: humble pie – there’s power in humility”

  1. Sam Crespi Says:
    April 5th, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Makes me think of a show called African Voices on CNN International. They interviewed a young man, African American, who’s brother is in prison and had spent time in prison himself. He cites the reasons he changed were specific teachers who believed he had the potential to take a new direction and do well.
    Asante is quite young, a successful poet, writer, and filmmaker, he also teaches at a University in Baltimore. Extremely articulate, smart and compassionate, when asked why he teaches, he said, “I do it as much to learn as anything else.”

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 5th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Hi Sam- so nice to hear your voice. Lovely story. It makes me think of Parker Palmer saying ‘I teach students not subjects.’

    Amazing how some folks can change their route so dramatically and in this case, based on the ‘simple’ support and belief from others. Funny how others can something see things in us that we can’t yet see.

  3. How you teach is how you do everything – part 7: an end to learning | Rock.Paper.Scissors.Blog Says:
    April 11th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    […] Humble pie – there’s power in humility […]

Leave a Reply