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Teaching Others is the Best Way to Learn

15 Nov

Last April, I resigned from my work from Standard Chartered Bank to take up Master of Science in Mathematics in De La Salle University-Manila and teach part-time as well. At first I thought that the role of a teacher was going to be a piece of cake since I aced most of my Math/Stat subjects during college, not long did I find out that it wasn’t really going to be as easy as I thought it would be.

Wikipedia defines a “Teacher” as – A person who provides schooling for others.

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If you are a “person who provides schooling for others”, then obviously you should be an expert of whatever subject area you are teaching. One of the teacher’s role is to make the student understand the lesson and breakdown any roadblocks or hindrances that prevent the students to go forward with the learning process. Advance topics in subjects such as Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Music, etc. require knowledge of certain pre-requisites before you will be allowed to enroll in these subjects.

 

Example: When studying Integral Calculus, you need to have a basic working knowledge of Algebra and Differential Calculus before you can learn how to integrate.

As I teach descriptive and inferential statistics to business students. It isn’t enough that I know how to solve the practice exercises in the book, but to be able to effectively teach statistics, as a teacher I must:

 

1) Have a deep working knowledge on the basic definitions and terms used in statistics

2) Understand the lessons very well so that I will be able to explain how the concepts applies in real life scenarios

3) Lastly, be able to communicate effectively at the level of understanding that the students have at that point in time.

 

As I teach algebra and statistics for the second term now, I’m glad to say that my learning growth in these two subjects has been the best it has ever been. If I compare myself to my student version 3-4 years ago, then I can honestly say that I have more understanding and depth of insight today in these subjects . This is because I teach these two subjects. This is my responsibility as a teacher. As a teacher, I know that more would be required of me.

 

As I go through the whole experience of teaching, this reminds me of the “Myth of Maturity” principle which says that: “You don’t minister because you’re mature, but you become more mature because you minister”. As I teach others algebra and statistics, I became better and better with both sciences because I constantly teach these subjects. Similarly in life, if we want to grow more with God, then the fastest way for this to happen is if we teach other people Jesus’ commands and to be always active in sharing our faith. It says in Philemon 1:6:

 

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

 

It is Paul who says that if you’re active in sharing your faith, then you will have full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. When someone did one2one with me, I have a difficult time remembering what my discipler taught me in the 12 weeks that we met, to tell you the truth, the only thing I remember back then was the topic on Lordship: “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?”. I know a lot of people can relate to me on this. However, as I did one2one with others myself, only then did I really get a good grasp of biblical foundations and how they apply in my life. Again, it’s because I teach others, that’s why I learn.

 

In the end, my prayer is that every believer out there will be active in sharing their faith, so that they will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ, and this includes his commandments. The best way to learn God’s commandments is to teach them to others.

 

Myth of Maturity: “You don’t minister because you’re mature, but you become more mature as you minister.”

Sounds redundant? 🙂

Philippians 3:1: “…It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard to you.”

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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Discipleship

 

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