Teaching Teachers - There is always a first time - TCET Mumbai

2021-02-17

I have been taught by so many teachers and I owe everything I’ve learnt and achieved to every teacher that I have come across. No, this is not a “Happy Teachers Day” post. 😁

So, how do I teach people whose profession is to teach people? Will they find my teaching methods as immature? Will they take me seriously? Doubts running in my head.

More than a year ago, Prof. Lochan Jolly from Thakur College of Engineering, Mumbai, reached out to me to hold a workshop on TRIZ. Almost instinctively, I agreed. Just as an afterthought, I asked about the level of proficiency of the audience. That’s when the good professor hit me with the news - The room will be full of teachers and professors.

Contradiction - I love the experience of being in a room and helping people apply TRIZ on a problem they care about. But, since I had never taught teachers before, I would probably hate the experience of worrying about if I was doing a good job or not. Talk about love-hate.

Right? Nope, wrong. The teachers were wonderful, so much so that I felt at ease. Not only that, I felt I should have suggested a two-day workshop instead of a one-dayer.

I did not make adjustments to my material or teaching style. I treated them as students and we had a ball. The teachers, on their part, played the part of students very well.

They say “Doctors make bad patients”. These teachers didn’t make bad students making me doubt the original “saying”.

The teachers drew out their problems on charts, colored them, chit chatted across tables and were a lively bunch. I kept egging them on to come up with even more creative ideas. They obliged.

This was easily one of my best workshops, where I felt I could have easily spent days with them without realizing that time passed.

Of course, the day had to come to an end. To top the day, Prof. Jolly had a grand tour of the college, the facilities and their projects which included an electronics kit made by the students co-created with customers. There were many other socially relevant projects. I was overwhelmed by the shear amount of hard work and passion that the faculty and students were showcasing for people like me to learn from.

Time to say goodbye. I pulled out my computer and showed Prof. Jolly the prototype cover of book on Design Thinking.

She replied after looking at the cover of the book,

“Next time, we should have a longer version of your workshop.”

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