According to author Tony Buzan, “Learning how to learn is life’s most important skill.”
Oh, I don’t know. I think learning to duck is life’s most important skill. Helps you avoid stray gunfire.
Still, I understand what Mr. Buzan means.
I have been in the classroom for nearly 20 years.
I like to tell myself that I teach Latin and Greek.
Run into me on Main Street in downtown Franklin, Tennessee and that is what I will tell you when you ask about my work. “I teach Latin and Greek.”
The problem is, it isn’t true.
I am a manager. For the last 20 years, I have managed bathroom breaks, fights, meltdowns, drama, bathroom breaks, seating arrangements, grades, stolen pencils, bathroom breaks, arguments, door holders, line leaders, and, that’s right, bathroom breaks.
I am a professional nag. Stay in your seat. Raise your hand. Turn in your homework. Don’t take his pencil. Get your hands out of her hair. Do not sit on the table. Get out from under the table. Put the chair back down. Put your name on your paper. Keep your hands to yourself. Clean that up. Take your finger out of her ear. Do not glue the books to the table. Quit licking that.
Yes. I have had to say all of those sentences.
In a 45 minute class, I am willing to bet we spend 15 to 20 minutes talking about Latin or Greek.
In 2011, I started teaching online.
Ask me what I am doing online, and I will tell you. “I teach Latin and Greek.”
And, it’s true.
I have hundreds of students online. Overwhelmingly, my online students outperform any students I have ever taught. I have never seen anything like it.
Those who complete my Latin courses, and most do, are able to read the New Testament in Latin.
Those who complete my Greek courses, and many do not, are able to read the New Testament in Greek. (Greek is just hard. I try to warn people. It is just so stinking hard. But, that’s another post.)
I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the best thing you can do for your own education is to get out of school!
The physical classroom is a distraction. The online classroom is a learning laboratory.
Others are joining me. Or, maybe I am joining them. Either way, I am not alone in this conviction: http://nautil.us/issue/29/scaling/why-virtual-classes-can-be-better-than-real-ones
One final tip. If you are not self-disciplined, all I have written above may not apply. If youare self-disciplined, though, find a way out of the classroom.
Sir Walter Scott summed it up. “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.”
Have a fantastic weekend!
P.S. In 23 days I will be giving a three-week tour of the Harry Potter series.
That series is better than you think it is.
Harry Potter fan or no, you will not want to miss this