Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If In Doubt, Try It Out!

Teaching and learning are complementary but different. Simply put - teaching is done by the teacher and learning is done by the student.
It is fortunately impossible to open a student's brain, pour in information, close it, and then see immediate results.

Teaching is providing a learning environment and supporting the action of learning.In this article, I'll talk about 3 ways to improve your learning -- all tested and proven by yours truly. ;)

Expecting

I'm positive that most students come with an expectation to learn. But there are certainly those that come expecting to be entertained or to receive some form of affirmation. In both situations, it's the teacher doing the work. To learn, you have to do something.
If you are a student coming to class with the expectation that your teacher is supposed to give you something, your classroom experience will improve drastically if you change your mindset to: "Today I'm going to take the most possible out of this lesson."

Helping

I've found that lindy hoppers are a very collaborative bunch - which is great! I support inter-partner-exchange 100%! However, if you main focus is improving your partner, the extent of your own personal growth decreases greatly.
So what do you do, if your partner isn't "getting it"?
If you are a leader and your partner struggles, try harder to do exactly what the teacher has instructed. If you don't know how you can improve, ask how you can make things better, so it'll be clearer. This way you will improve. 
If you are a follower, try following exactly what your partner is leading, because it's not the move you are trying to learn, but rather the art of following! (That is, as long as the focus of the class is a new move or new technique. This obviously doesn't apply if you are working on individual improvisation.)

Trusting

Last but not least, trust your teachers! I've personally found this one tricky from time to time, so let me repeat that: trust your teachers! Why? There are a bunch of good reasons, but let's focus on the one related to learning only.
Instructors provide you with information, instructions and help. If you question one or all of these, you'll do them half-heartedly. It is crucial, especially when trying out something new (and might it be an old move with a new technique), to do what the instructors tell you 100% in order to make it work.

Remember - If in doubt, try it out!