Thinking About Learning

Think about something you are good at

I believe I am good at explaining technical subjects. I started teaching programming at a private school while I was still student myself, doing third year of my MSc. So I was student in the morning but teacher in the evening. This situation allowed me to see mistakes my lecturers were making, and I did my best to avoid them in my practice. Very small class size of less than 4 learners allowed me to get immediate feedback via interaction that confirmed that I am on the right track. Breaking learning into tiny steps, when learners immediately tried theoretical material, allowed me to make accessible even the most difficult material.

Think of something about yourself you feel good about

For example, I believe am I good in explaining how to create web pages. This is based on the feedback I got from the learners in one class I taught at Northenden site, where they said “this is the best lecture i’ve had in my life” and “in this class i learned more than in the previous year“.

Think of something you are not good at, perhaps as a result of a bad learning experience

I am not good in cooking, if it goes beyond microwave heating or boiling plain water. I don’t think anything went terribly wrong here but I never had serious reason to learn: at first, my mum did it all, and then there was always someone gladly doing it for me since I left home at 21.

Think of something that you did learn successfully, but at the time you didn’t really want to do it

I was doing PhD in Computer Science at London University, when all postgrads teaching undergrads were asked to complete teaching course. I did not want to do it because of the very tight schedule and huge workload even without it. Moreover, I did not plan to stay to teach at that place any longer. But I recognised an opportunity to improve my skills and get an extra line on my CV. So I told myself to get it done – and successfully completed it.

Six months later I was offered job at the Manchester College of Arts and Technologies (currently known as The Manchester College) to teach subjects I really enjoyed. So I accepted the offer, and I was jumping that I managed to complete that course successfully!


Word count: 403

2nd October 2012

One thought on “Thinking About Learning

  1. This is great Yaroslav and shows how you could overcome negative feelings and apply yourself to something you didn’t really want to do – and as a result really achieve something worthwhile. (I am sure you could do the same to cooking, if you really wanted or needed to, but maybe that’s not a priority for now!).