Teaching Manifesto

“A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another’s learning” Carl Rogers

This is how I want to Teach:

  • I create an environment in which participants can learn.  I am responsible for setting the mood in the room.
  • I teach leaders.  I accept zero excuses.  I will never, never, never provide pity.  I expect 100% responsibility of each participant for their actions, their preparation, their interventions, their learning.
  • I know every participant is capable of the growth required.
  • I am neither above or below anyone in the room.
  • I ask people for their specific goals.  I am responsible for ensuring that everyone sees how my course, my teaching, their participation is relevant to their current reality and the problems they face.
  • I am a participant, a member of the group.  I aim to learn alongside the group.
  • I take the initiative in sharing my thoughts, feelings, experiences, reflections in ways which others can take or leave.  I tell stories that participants can relate to.
  • I teach adults.  Everything I teach applies to real life.  All content is judged by its direct application to improvement in the quality of life of participants, during and for as long as possible after the course.  My teaching is a journey of mutual enquiry.
  • I refer to a wide range of resources for learning. I trust participants to read, view, buy, borrow what serves them.
Inspired by the writings of psychologist and educator Carl R. Rogers, guidelines for the facilitation of learning.

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2 Comments

  1. Nice manifesto.

    Bearing in mind that you teach what are called leadership skills, I am nevertheless troubled, if I may, with the line “I teach leaders.  I accept zero excuses.  I will never, never, never provide pity.  I expect 100% responsibility of each participant for their actions, their preparation, their interventions, their learning.” I would expect such responsibility over their actions from leaders and non-leaders alike 😉

    1. Javier – this is probably the most thought-about, reflected-upon and most deeply important line in my whole manifesto. It is not the normal human relationship. “you poor thing”, “don’t worry, you can get to it tomorrow”, “well done at least you gave it a shot” are terrible statements that allow the victim mindset to grow strong. It is hard to hold to this when someone is in tears, or telling me how there is a big problem at work… but life accepts no excuses.

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