― Roald Dahl,
Personally I believe that to be a truly effective teacher, you need to instill passion and enthusiasm in your learners to be able to bring about some type of change in their life. Because for me, that's what learning is - change.
I am currently working in a People & Development role (fancy name for HR), which although facilitates training, does not actually conduct any training or teaching. Am I passionate about it the way Road Dahl describes above? No. No I am not. I couldn't convey enthusiasm even if I tried as I am coming from an empty pot , there is nothing left to give!
But what is my passion? This is a question that reverts back to my very core, my very essence, one I have been continually asking of myself. Varshavskaya (2014) poses the question to ask oneself as 'what I would be interested in doing if money were of no concern'. My Nautropath gets me to think about my passion when she asks 'what is it that makes your heart sing?' (I kinda like the visual of my heart singing).
For me the answer is a no brainer, but at the same time, is fraught with issues surrounding economic, parental, political and if I'm really honest, fear.
If money were no object, I would be working in a permaculture role from home, teaching others how to do it for themselves. Perhaps start a seed business to sell online through my blog. Become interested in natural healing using herbs from my garden.Teach people to not rely on others but to be able to give the confidence to others to be able to do it for themselves. I could talk about this topic all day long, I could be researching it til 'the cows come home', I often find myself saying 'Did you know that...' or 'I watched/read/thought about this today and it got me thinking about...'. Like I said, a no brainer for me.
But what is the demand for people to learn this type of information? Is there a market for teaching skills in this area?
I do feel a little lost compared to others in this course as I am not coming from a current teaching background. I have considered looking at my 'teaching' aspect as it is described in the assignment requirements - 'to help someone learn' - with the view for this to turn into more formal teaching in the future.
To expand on my adventures in teaching within a NETGL environment, I feel I can now respond to these questions more adequately;
What is your role as a teacher? Who are your students? What is the context?
- focus teaching strategies on small scale permaculture to beginners (most established permaculture sites are on larger acreage/small farms or small urban blocks)
- to facilitate learning opportunities for our climate in the Yass Valley, whilst understanding the upcoming climate challenges
- Initially, this teaching will be to a 'set' of learners, as described by Dron & Anderson 2014 and could possibly include ,networks' to get the initial knowledge of my existence 'out there'. It would not be as specific as a group. I guess I will be appealing to the 'lurkers' (those that read but do not participate in electronic discussions) as described by Gray (1999).
- Permaculture Design Course online opportunities
- Numerous 'experts' in the permaculture field with substantially more experience than me (See some of the videos posted by Geoff Lawnton ) and Bill Mollinson 'Global Gardener' TV series on YouTube.
- Excellent knowledge sharing through forums
- Use blog as basis to attract people and for the name to be seen on other blogs
- Attract people to formal courses (long term goal)
- Be able to comment on other local blogs/information and gain credibility by linking/commenting with others on social media
- Gain credibility by demonstrating knowledge
- Potential to connect with other practitioners from similar climates in other parts of Australia and even the world.
- Credibility as a teacher, not well known in the area for this type of teaching
- How the 'me' can shine through online (potential for videos?)
- Unsure how I can incorporate all the different learning styles in an online environment