Yesterday I taught a full day, a topic I hadn’t taught in almost 10 months but otherwise have been teaching for over 15 years. The combination of the break and the long experience helped me approach the course afresh but with great confidence.
What I was happiest about was the way I could engage with students who asked questions or made statements I didn’t understand or sometimes even agree with. I entered into an exploration of their point with curiosity, something I couldn’t have done many years ago when I started. In those days, I was so wrapped up with following my timetable and getting the main points across I simply wasn’t able to deal constructively with what felt like interruptions and detours to me. But, guess what–it turns out a lot of the points aren’t detours at all but real contributions to the course. I can appreciate that now and inquire more deeply.