I really have a new found respect for teachers. I have been taught all my life and have not realized what is going on behind the scenes when teachers are instructing me. For my Library and Information Literacy Instruction practicum, I recently taught a library class in which I discussed the finer points of searching and finding articles in Sociological Abstracts. I will also be teaching a Philosophy class this coming week about finding background information and navigating Philosopher’s Index. I did not realize all the preparation that was necessary.
To teach a class you first need to figure out what you want the students to be able to do after the class is over. In other words you must design learning outcomes. Secondly, you have to figure out how you are going to teach them these skills. Finally you have to make them prove it. This means you need to design an activity or worksheet or some other method of seeing whether they can actually do what you want them to. These steps are not easy either. They take a lot of thought and creativity. On top of that you actually have to get up “on stage” and teach them these things, making sure they get it. Teachers are pretty talented people.