How To Be The Best Teacher I Can Be

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How to Be the Best Teacher I Can Be

It's easy to fall in love a little with your Touch for Health Instructor. They know so much and are so good at helping people feel better. And they have enabled personal growth and development in their students. What's not to like?

Here in lies the issue.

Like everyone we instructors have our blind spots. We do our absolute best at all times and try to cover all bases but we are also human. It's impossible to see things from the students' perspective and so in order to be the best we can be we need to hear what our students have to say.

I have been teaching for many years and became a Touch for Health Instructor in 2008. Like all instructors, after every class I ask for feedback. It's been so positive. Students talk of how brilliant they feel, how much they have learnt, how they can't wait to start helping friends and family, how much they loved the food etc. etc. This is music to my ears and lovely to hear. Except ...

The reality is that this sort of feedback doesn't always help me be any better. Of course it's nice to know what went well and I'll keep doing the things that are working, but what would REALLY help me be the best I can be would be to have some insight in to what I could have done differently and until now I don't think I've been getting enough of that sort of input, despite asking for it.

As I'm asking for something and not receiving it I figured I must be asking in the wrong way. So I changed tack. Firstly, I sought some mentoring from my lovely friend and education specialist Jackie Lysaght in Ireland and with her help I felt able to try different ways of soliciting feedback. In my latest class, Level 4 TFH I did a preliminary feedback exercise early on in the class where the students learnt the huge value of giving and receiving feedback from someone who only wants you to be the best you can be. I also revamped my evaluation form to make it look a little more enticing and changed the questions so that they really pointed towards what I wanted to know. I offered the possibility of adding a drawing instead of writing and, importantly,  I gave plenty of time within the class for the students to fill them in.

It worked like a charm. Now I have understanding of what I could do better and my students of the future will reap the benefits. So thank you to everyone who has ever given me loving, positive feedback and to all those who have ever shed light on my blind spots.

Helena Argüelles