Teaching and learning

I left teaching in February and it was probably one of the biggest decisions of my life. Like all big decisions, the consequences are huge. But as I reflect on my posts about food, I realized something else.

One of my teacher mentors, Ann, told me that to become a better teacher, she puts herself in the role of a learner a lot. For example, she takes yoga classes and thinks about how she would want the teacher to help her or push her. That has stayed with me. (Ann says so many wise things. She’s had a huge influence on me. Thank you Ann Wilson!!!!)

I’m no longer a teacher, but I still like to put myself in the role of the learner. It’s a little different from simply taking a bunch of classes or being a student. And I’m not doing it to earn a degree. I like when teaching and learning is very personal or in small groups.

Some of my favorite learning experiences as an adult:

  • Yoga class with Carrie. My instructor had a home studio, a garage that she converted. I loved it because it was so personal, the group classes consisted of regulars, and it was just the best yoga experience. It definitely made yoga into a practice for me.
  • Yoga via YouTube videos with Adrienne. I moved out of Carrie’s area, so I could no longer afford classes or find a yoga community (I was commuting and had no time for evening classes anymore.) I still wanted to practice yoga, and I’m able to do so
  • Cooking class at Hipcooks. I’ve been describing them in my food posts.
  • Painting classes at Paint and Sip. I loved the painting classes there! Justin is a great teacher. He is so kind and I really enjoyed painting there.
  • Crafting workshops at Paper Source. I love explicit and detailed instruction so this class is very fun! I learn to make my own greeting cards.

I realize that to be able to take all these classes is a huge luxury and privilege. Not every can afford it in terms of money and time. There is no way I would be able to indulge in these if I had a family to support or a really demanding job. However, I want to say that I am not making a lot of money, and I find ways to support these hobbies.

For example, practicing yoga through YouTube videos is free. You only need Internet connection, a screen, and space & yoga mat!

There are many workshops at local libraries too. They are free!

I’m able to take cooking classes by assisting the teacher and volunteering to wash dishes. I’ve been able to “take” classes for free by being there and assisting. Really, the amazing thing about the Internet is that there are so many podcasts, videos, and tutorials that are available if you really want to learn. I just want to say that learning doesn’t stop once you are out of school, but it is a huge time and money investment if you choose to take classes. One day, I might pick up adult music lessons too.

I’m a really big proponent of adult learning!


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