teach what you know


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One of the best ways to internalize what you are learning is to teach it to someone else. Teaching doesn’t have to be complicated — simply sharing what you think about something you’ve learned helps to solidify it in your mind.

It can be tempting to think that putting yourself out there as a teacher is begging for attention, but the truth is that teaching is a gift to your students. When you teach what you know, you’re sharing what you’ve been given. Take the focus off your yourself and focus on what you can provide for the people you could teach.

Teach what you know even if you think it’s not much.
If you know more than one other person, you can teach. Don’t wait until you’re an expert — what is an “expert” anyway?
Teach what you know now.
Don’t worry about who else might teach better.
There is someone out there who will learn better from you because of your particular perspective.
Don’t worry that you won’t teach it well.
Put yourself out there so that through teaching you might welcome someone new into the joy of the learning process.

{today’s exercise}

Find someone you can teach: a friend or family member who knows a little less than you do about writing poetry. Share something that you’ve learned about your own poetry-writing process this week. You could have them read your favorite post from this series, but don’t stop there. Share your personal perspective too. Teach them what you’ve learned through writing poetry this month. Encourage them to write a poem.

{my process and my students’ poems}

As for me, this whole month has been about teaching poetry-writing. Thank you for being a part of it. I love to teach and to see people grow in their skills, especially when they find themselves going above and beyond what they would have thought themselves capable of.

Nine-year-old Joshua and his mom have both been writing poetry in response to the exercises I’ve been sharing this month. Here are a couple of poems they’ve written.

When the Babies Slept
By Mom

The sun sets
The day is done
I rock and sing
My baby to sleep.

I say to my little ones
"You can play more tomorrow!"
I lay in the dark scratching little backs
As my babies sleep.

Whispered prayers and tears,
"God, bless my precious children!"
Watching in wonder
As my babies sleep.

So tired myself
But chores await
Hurry and get things done
As my babies sleep.

Another day has come
Children now grown
Time passed so fast
As my babies slept!

Sabbath Rest
By Joshua, age 9

A time to relax
And thank God for the days
That he has given you
That you may have rest, peace and quiet
So that you can unwind
And be ready for the next day.