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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Fun Experiment

The other day my wife and I made an agreement: she'll teach me music theory (something she's very good at) and I'll teach her Greek (something I'm good at). Tonight was the first night, and we decided I would go first. And so it began.

I discovered something rather quickly: while I was a good Greek tutor, I have no idea how to teach. This came as kind of a blow to me, considering that teaching is what I want to do with my life. As I started to go through the alphabet, my wife brought things to a halt by asking questions like, "So, do I need to write this down? How do I write them?" and statements like, "You're not teaching, you're just talking!"

As we plowed through the alphabet, how to write it, the pronunciation of each letter and other such simple beginnings, it occurred to me that teaching is something that requires experience, of which I have very little. Now, having a plan of what and how to teach a topic comes in handy, but I had none. I figured that, since I had taught her the alphabet previously, we could breeze through it in a couple of minutes and move on. Definitely not the case. Because she has to teach me from the ground up, she has opted to be taught in a like fashion.

Having received a degree in education, Mrs. Hamil knows how to teach. She got a lot of this stuff from some excellent professors, teaching mentors, and opportunities to use what she learned. This is all stuff I don't have. So she decided that she's going to teach me how to teach her by me teaching her Greek. So now I'm going to learn basic pedagogy along with music theory!

So, as it happens, I might blog on my experiences in teaching my wife Greek or her teaching me music theory. Might not, but I don't know yet. Every once in a while, though, it's a good thing to be humbled like I was tonight by realizing the great many things about which I don't know anything.

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