This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

January 14, 2015

Teaching, from amateur to professional

Being a teacher is the single most important thing that a person can do. It's at the foundation of the success of the human race, that we pass along our knowledge to others. There is nothing more selfless than sharing what you have learned, that is, being a teacher.

Teaching takes many forms, from amateur to professional. And sometimes I see it as a wonderful thing, as someone *takes someone under their wing* or becomes a mentor, and sometimes I see it as a nasty, horrible, thing, such as when someone decides to *teach someone a lesson* in a harsh and cruel way.

Teaching is like sales. When it's done right, it helps people, and guides them. When it's done wrong, it's simply bullying. Please let me explain.

I'm a professional teacher. And it isn't my teaching certificate, or my years of teaching, it's the simple fact that I have gotten paid to teach. It's kind'a like losing your amateur status in sports - once you get money for it, your attitude changes. Certainly my attitude has changed towards teaching - once I got paid for it, I had no interest in doing it for free. My specialty is Adobe software, and I've prepared lectures, class plans, projects, that sort of thing, for a very long time. I have evaluated and graded student work. I have critiqued. That is, I have pointed out what is wrong and made suggestions on how to make it better.

But most people always keep their amateur status as a teacher. Most people are willing to tell other people what they're doing wrong, especially in a field of expertise of the teacher. I'm not trying to be funny here - people who honk at someone who has made a poor choice of a lane change are actually functioning as a teacher - critiquing the mistake. People who patiently talk to managers of restaurants about the poor service, and how it could be made better, although it may seem as just anger, are actually doing amateur teaching. Yeah, amateur teaching is pretty painful - for everyone.

Everyone should teach. I have found it to be a fulfilling experience. I love sharing what I know, from Adobe Illustrator to house-breaking a dachshund. If you would like to *teach someone a lesson*, and do it in a gentle way, I applaud you. The world is made better by teachers.

Here's what you can do: Teaching is all about communication, so seek out a communications class. Your local community college has everything from beginning sales to *how to deal with difficult people*, and *how to talk to anyone*. If you want to share what you know, you have to learn how to communicate well, how to overcome objections, how to convince, how to sell an idea.

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