Count ourselves in

The best way to really learn something is to teach it. The worst way to learn something is to get taught it. In between teaching it and getting taught it is: finding it out for ourselves, figuring out the way it works and coming to our own realizations about it.

Teaching obviously has an effect on the other person getting taught. When we realize how that effect comes back around to bite us in the butt or congratulate us on the back, we're careful what we put out there. We become wise to the ways that learning happens without making it happen. We see how to really learn something by teaching it (and writing about it, explaining it, or making it clear to others like I'm doing right now).

We learn more from how we're taught than what we're taught. If we're shown respect while getting taught, we respect the person teaching us and the content we're expected to learn. If we're abused, disrespected, misunderstood or framed in a bad light, we get that message loud and clear. We show no respect to the instructor, give no credibility to the content and no patience to the process of getting it to sink in. We return what's been dished out to us.

When we teach like we're constantly sending subliminal messages, we see what we're saying without any words. We perceive the students signaling us in the same light. We come from a place that sets a good example, provides credible leadership and says what we stand for. We expect to be understood for how we conducted ourselves and the ways we treated the students.

When we describe students like we're one in the same, we point fingers back at ourselves. It "takes one to know one" and "anything about you applies to me too". Our description of a students says a lot about ourselves and where we're coming from. We join in the cycle of mutual regard and representation. We get framed by our framing the students. We count ourselves in to the mirroring and reflecting that goes round and round.


  1. Kia ora Tom

    And a Happy New Year to you!

    Some years ago I used self-assessment to validate that teaching has been effective, not that learning has taken place. This way, it puts the teacher under the microscope rather than hanging the results of ineffective teaching on the student.

    In the wrong hands, of course, this form of assessment could be dangerous. As far as my use of it was concerned, it was formative assessment to help me with my teaching.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

  2. Happy New Year to you Ken! I'm also a big fan of self-assessments and have set up that process in several design firms. It does face the dangers of over/underestimating oneself and over/under reacting to other's evaluations. As you indicated, self evaluations makes us responsible for our conduct and less inclined to blame others for the mutually-realized outcomes.

    Thanks for your input here!