Showing is Not Teaching

I am excited to announce the summer session of my 8-week online course: Build Your Author Platform. (click the link!)

This is my flagship course – something that I have spent months and months developing. This course gives you a complete strategy to build your brand and become a part of a community of people who appreciate your writing.

Recently, I’ve talked about why I love teaching. Today, I want to talk about the difference between truly teaching, and merely “showing.”

I bought something this week, and while opening it up, I couldn’t help but noticing the promises it made on the side of the box:

Fisher Price Door Toy

WOW! How much would you pay for something that does all of that? Maybe $10,000? Or more? I mean, this is comparable to a college education, right? At this point, you must be asking, what magical gadget can teach all of this. May I present to you:

Fisher Price door toy

Sure, it’s a new toy for my 9-month old son’s play area – essentially a big doorway with lots of buttons to press. But does pressing buttons equate to teaching?

I am considering this as a metaphor, how each of us approaches career development, and the many projects and services that we encounter that somehow promise us an easy path to our dreams.

Now, the object above SHOWS my son what letters look like. Maybe if he presses some button it will say “A” in a pre-recorded voice. But this is not teaching. And this is the failing of many training and education products and services aimed at adults in developing their careers. Showing is not teaching.

Teaching requires the instructor to “get their hands dirty” – not just wrestling with the material, but working WITH each unique student. Oftentimes, it’s not just about intellect, but about emotions. Learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it occurs within the context of our already busy lives. And let’s face it, each of us are coming from a different place, and have different goals.

The larger educational system solved this by creating standardized tests and assigning letter grades to determine who “passed” and who “failed.” I won’t go into any commentary on that, and I won’t pretend that is a straightforward issue. (massively complex, in fact)

With launching the summer session of my Build Your Author Platform course, I have been obsessing over issues such as this: how can I best TEACH; how can I actually move the needle in someone’s life, bringing them closer to their goals.

I have been developing this course for well over a year now, and this is only the second time I am making it available. Why? Because I keep wanting to analyze it to make it even stronger. I took 2 months off between the last offering in the Spring. That time has been spent analyzing feedback from students, adding features, and ensuring how my time can best be spent with the students who sign up.

If you feel that this course would benefit someone you know, please spread the word. Here’s that link again:

Build Your Author Platform.