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Old 09-29-2003, 11:12 AM   #14
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 113
I'd like to relate my experience as a computer programming teacher (I'll make it as brief as possible to prevent pure boredom )

I became a computer-programming teacher (my first job) because I had such a good teacher, so much so I utilized the same teaching techniques he used on me with my students. But I found, within a short time, I was lacking in some areas and I rigorously sought to fill those gaps with additional training. After a year of teaching, our college hosted a teaching seminar and teachers from a number of schools came (including my old teacher). In the course of that seminar, my image of him being my mentor was shattered -- not because he had become a bad teacher, but because he had remained completely static and I had far surpassed him in such a short time. I asked him about it after, and he said point blank that he was tired of retraining himself all the time and wanted to just coast for a while.

I saw this as a real problem, and when my students began complaining that our curriculum was too outdated (computer knowledge gets outdated every 6 months unfortunately), I took it upon myself to seek the knowledge I needed, dumped some outdated courses and created new ones to better suite the current needs (as they directly correlated to students get jobs). Well, although the students were really happy our college administrator pulled me into the office and told me that I needed to settle down and lay off "radical" course changes since the other instructors couldn't keep up. I agreed, not wanting to make my coworkers look bad, but soon I realized how hypocritical this whole exercise was…even with all my studying to understand the needs of the students I had never even worked in the field I was preparing them for. I needed to get out there and KNOW what they needed.

So I did, and although I mentor and train people today I do not do it as my vocation. My primary concern is to DO; my secondary concern is to teach.

I think many of you will see parallels in Aikido teachers, and I don't need to explicitly identify them. Everyone sleeping yet?


Bruce Kimpel
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