How do I know you don’t get it?

Look it is Monday today I am still hangover and tired from yesterday, please don’t make this difficult for me…and most of you guys are in the wrong class anyway, why don’t you *tell* me when you don’t get something so I am not wasting my time…

..are pretty much the words I heard from the salsa dance instructor at my class. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Really, I mean we were paying *him* to get his hangover and then he was having a go at all of us for being bad students!

As he ranted on, we all quietly knew what the problem was.

About half an hour ago before the dance class I was taking a class myself…albeit in Maths. I had a one to one tuition session with a child. Children often can’t, don’t know, or don’t want to tell the teacher when they don’t get something. But hey, adults are no different when it comes to this!

The skilled teacher already knows this and has much better ways of gauging who “gets” what…and that’s where so much of the skill in teaching lies, figuring out what is going in and what is not.

Not by slamming students in front of everyone!

In a group situation it is pretty hard to be the first one to stand up and say “yup, I am the fool here”. But often that is the most important thing to do…for everyone’s sake. But most times that is just not going to happen and the teacher has to develop other measurement tactics.

Skilled teachers are rare, we all know that by now. So if it hard to find really great teachers for school stuff then with salsa teaching and dancing a totally underground and unregulated scene it is even harder to find great teachers for that too.

And that is the lesson I learnt in my class….that being… not to go back to that class again. Time to move on and try out a few more classes until I find at least a teacher who is teaching it as a passion. And yes, this was a rant. What can I say….as a tutor I have become rather critical 🙂


3 Responses to “How do I know you don’t get it?”

  1. 1 Greg P April 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Know how you feel! When I learnt to snowboard, our instructor seemed perplexed and frustrated by the idea that we would initially be pretty crap at it.

    And get this: there was a primary teacher who I had who once (or more) said to a pupil who didn’t get it – “Are you deaf, dumb, or just different?”…

  2. 2 Jonny Salsa December 3, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Nice post, young Atul.

    I think one question to ask is, “why is this person teaching?”

    If it’s “just a job” or “just a way to make money” then from my own personal experiences (through the likes of school and salsa classes) there’s a pretty good chance that the person is a bad teacher.

    In fact, you could say that a bad teacher is a ‘non-teacher’ or someone that actually discourages learning. Not nice!

  3. 3 Atul Rana December 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks gentlemen for the comments. At least as adults we have the choice to switch and change teachers we don’t like or/and are inspired by. I dread to think of the poor children who are going through the primary teacher Greg had!

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