When I was in High School (around 15 years old), I used to teach Mathematics to my best friend, Augusto César (a.k.a Goose). I really enjoyed teaching him, I understood the topic and I could use that understanding to use different examples, to communicate that knowledge in a way which was easier for him to assimilate and learn. I enjoyed teaching.
But, my references of what it is like to be a teacher and what kind of people they are was more akin to Pink Floyd’s The Wall — repressive, oppressive, self-righteous (mind you one or two were awesome).
This prevented me from ever considering a career teaching and sharing knowledge… So I ended up in Market Research, an industry I worked at for 15 years! The last 5 years I worked in this industry I was running a BU in 86 countries, creating products, training and supporting the teams all over the world. And you know what? I enjoyed the training and teaching.
We had an yearly event called Marketing School, in which we gathered for a week in a regional hub and I spent the week training different people from the region, teaching them. I really enjoyed it!
As I left University and started to work I met some incredible teachers and over the years I started to change my view of it… To a point where the more I learned and improved, the more I wanted to be able to share that with others, to help them reach the insights, to guide people so that they can form their opinions, so they can have more information to make their own decisions.
Only there was no WAY I was going to be like a teacher like that one above… And then it all changed for a met someone who showed me that teaching was not what I had learned up to that point.
It was Professor DeRose (pictured here with his faithful four legged angel, Jaya).
There are many reasons for this inspiration. Partially it was because the topic he teaches is fascinating: an approach to living that allows you to be more productive at work, to work better with others, to feel more energy and focus, to maximize how you perform as a human…
And beyond… his style of teaching, him as a person, his attitudes, his presence. I’d love to emulate some of that.
So in 2008 I started teaching. Wow… the more you teach the more you learn! For me teaching is not to spew information, rather, I feel that a successful teacher is the one who can communicate most effectively, who can weave the information to suit the students. For me, teaching is a passion.
Before I met DeRose there was a phrase that I associated with teaching… As far I as I am aware this phrase was from GB Shawn… “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”
Yet, DeRose is a living proof that this saying is BS… He has built global network of entrepreneurial teachers that have businesses in 13 different countries in Europe, US and South America. He was the ultimate example that.. “He who guesses, tries. But he who knows, does and teaches…”
This was a fundamental lesson in my life! It changed everything. No longer did I need to ignore that side of me who wanted to share information with others, no longer did I frown upon people who chose to live their lives as teachers. No longer did this carry a stigma… the result was natural — I started to invest MUCH more in being a good teacher, in the skills required to help others understand my message, training how to communicate ideas so that others could reach conclusions.
Think about what an amazing skill this is! Would leaders not be more effective if they were also teachers? Would communication at work and at home not improve if you could communicate more effectively? Are these not fundamental tools everyone should know to achieve their objectives more quickly? And then I had a major life event… my wife and I had a baby boy. As I write this he is almost a year and a half and as far as I can tell, the skill set I learned and developed as a teacher has been fundamental in bringing up a cool like guy!
So what is your experience? Were the teachers in your life oppressors or influencers?