Why It’s Important to Keep the Well Full

I spend a lot of my time teaching other people things. I might be teaching my clients how to envision their perfect web or video project, or teaching them about what options and technologies are available to them.  I might be teaching (more coaching) staff on projects. This Fall, I’ll be teaching college students the basics of digital audio and video production.

Whatever I am teaching, in whatever capacity, it’s a lot of output. I’m spewing forth a ton of information each day, week, and month. I’m not complaining. I love to teach. I get a real kick out of showing someone something new, of helping them to see things in a different way. It’s a real high for me.

But the absolute key to being a good teacher is being a good learner. To love teaching, you must love learning. To be able to have the kind of output that teaching requires, you must keep inputting new information all the time.

I find that my input/output goes in cycles. I will have cycles when it’s all about output…I’m teaching classes, teaching clients, teaching staff, all at the same time. But then I have times, like right now, when I’m in the learner’s seat. I’m online, learning about new technology. I’m attending things like Podcamp Montreal. I’m attending train the trainer sessions at the College. I’m working on my inner self. This input is critical. I NEED to learn. It is something I crave. If I spend too long on the output, I get tired. It’s almost as if my well of knowledge empties out. I need to fill it back up again before I can continue.

I guess that is true about everything in life…you need to empty out once in a while, so you can fill back up – whether it’s knowledge, work/family balance, or technical work/creative work.

How do you keep your well full?

Photo by szlea, from Flickr.

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2 Responses

  1. So weird. I just telling someone I needed some input time in September. I get input from a lot of places. Books, kids, movies, people, art – and, not meaning to get all Zen or anything, sometimes silence is an input. Calm the waters of the output and see what’s been hiding underneath.

  2. Enjoyed your comments on teaching. This past May I finished my first year of teaching college (history) and it was a killer as well as having fulfilling moments. It was a TON of output…. and everyone I knew who’d taught a first year of college told me “It’ll get better, the first year is a killer!” And the thing about me, is that I put 100% or more into each new thing I take on… if I believe in it. And I believe strongly in the value of education. So I threw myself into it. I wanted to do a good job and I wanted to interest the students, and it takes a lot of effort, to think of ways to make history come alive for students, and to come up with ways to get students to learn to think critically. Plus I was thrown into teaching historical periods/countries that I had NEVER studied… the good thing was that I got great training in HOW to teach history during my MA program. Anyway, I aprpeciated what you said about output…. and about input, because I honestly wasn’t able, during the “first year” to nurture myself. And then my appendix burst about a month after spring semester ended. Was it related to how stressed I got and how little nurturing I had? (I was going through a marriage separation at the same time…)

    So now I have to work on input…. Let me know if you write more posts about it!

    Chandi
    http://www.italiandreams.wordpress.com

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