Teaching is Learning

Tomorrow, I dive into week three of my summer camp job. I’m a trip leader, and a camping instructor; I teach about knots, shelter making, stoves, leave no trace, cooking in the backcountry, wilderness first aid, and so on, and so on.

I came into the summer stoked on the idea of making lesson plans and carrying them out, as I had just finished a course in “Teaching Theories and Methods.” I was a teacher, after all. I was the authority, the adult full of knowledge.

However, I was humbled after day one. My teaching to learning ratio was largely off, and the scale tipped in favor of the latter. I struggled with this idea for several days, because I thought I was supposed to be the one imposing most of the information on the students, nFoto 7-7-16 07 38 50.jpgot the other way around. I spent so much time anxious and frustrated about the imbalance that I forgot to realize how beautiful the exchange was.

I soon began to welcome this trade. I started to understand that I couldn’t teach to my fullest if I wasn’t constantly learning – about my students, the topics I was teaching about, the landscape, and much more. Teaching needs to be a consistent dialogue, as opposed to a lecture.

As teachers, our students have so much to teach us, and we have a lot to learn beyond the material we cover in our lessons.

The photo above is one I took during a trip through the Carter Range in NH.

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