Teach!

My usual frown at work has been turned upside down this week. In addition to the endless parade of painful meetings and looming deadlines with never enough hours to get stuff done, I get to teach class.

For 1.5 days I get to (somewhat) shirk my normal duties to teach budding or budded analysts how to write use cases and manage review meetings. That always makes me very happy. First, they are topics I am passionate about and, second, I love to teach.

Here is a list of reasons why I like to teach. (list 79)

1. It is creative. I love taking a dull topic and making it interesting, enjoyable, and approachable. I love thinking of unique examples and exercises to help people learn a concept.

2. I love having a captive audience. I spend a lot of my job being talked to, it is so welcoming to have people listen to me, if only for a few minutes.

3. I treasure the time in class where I actually get to exchange ideas and talk about theory, instead of the day to day to day to day to day job of operationalizing (sorry for verbing a noun) theory and ideas.

4. The right foot at the right time is everything. Catching people when they first start a job and sharing the right way to do things is ideal. After they learn a bad practice the first time, it is correction. I much prefer training to correction.

5. I like meeting new people in a class situation. All my life I have thrived in classrooms, it is where I am most at my ease and can be my best self – talking with people, learning about them, and making new friends.

6. There is nothing I love more in my professional life than seeing the lightbulb come on. To see a person grasp and understand and appreciate an idea and to help them get there is beyond satisfying.

Last week I had a brief call with some colleagues who needed to know how to do something more simply in a tool. I showed them how and one of them said “I could kiss you.” She got embarrassed, but I assured her that her saying that would make this the best working day for me in recent memory. (And she worked in Virginia, so the kiss was not feasible.) And starting tomorrow morning for 1.5 days I get to try to be a good enough teacher that lots of people will want to kiss me. Yay!

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