I’ve just finished my first year (of three) of an MSc in Strength & Conditioning. The year ended with a 10-day on-site period of assessment and intense study.
It’s been a challenging year and an even more challenging 10 days. I feel exhausted. I felt at times like I was being put through a ringer both intellectually and emotionally, pushed to my limit. Coming out the other side, there is a massive feeling of accomplishment. I’ve learned loads, not only the course content but actually more importantly stuff about myself: what causes me stress, how do I respond, and what might I be capable of doing.
As an instructor I think it is incredibly important to be pushing myself to keep learning. It could be very easy to become complacent, to think that I knew it all, to think, ‘I am the instructor so they should listen to me’. I believe that as soon as that sort of thinking creeps in we stop our learning and we stagnate. Surely if I expect my students to grow, then I must keep growing as well, putting myself into situations that create anxiety and/or challenge me, and learning how to cope and hopefully to excel.
Can we be effective teachers, if we are not always learning and growing ourselves?