Pretending to be a Teacher

I walked the route from Paddington to Euston again this morning. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, the sun shone, and made the 40 minute walk a pleasure, rather than a burden. Arriving with a little while to spare, I wandered across to the coffee shop that has become a bolt-hole over the last few days. A few cherished moments of peace and quiet.

I haven’t actually written about what I’m doing in London. I’m teaching. Teaching a business person to do clever stuff with their computer system. Stuff I’m one of the few people in the country that knows a lot about. Throughout the time I spend on the road teaching people (an increasingly frequent diversion from headbutting my desk in the office while wrangling source-code), my appreciation for the “real” teachers I know grows immeasurably. Teaching is hard.

Today we went through a nervous – but planned – transition in the classroom. I had spent the first three days essentially leading a lecture – building things, drawing pictures on white boards, and taking my student on a tour of sorts. Today I handed control over the computer, and became the back-seat driver. “How are we going to do this then?”… “Have you thought about doing it this way?”… “What if we did this too?”. After a bumpy start, the day became more and more fun – both for me, and the student.

Of course teaching a business person is very, very different to teaching a child. The business person almost always wants to learn.

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