Being a good teacher starts with listening.  I always start my classes and workshops with listening.  I like to find out who my students are.  What their backgrounds are.  Where they come from and what they like.  I do this so I can adjust what I will teach to suit them. 

My hardest teaching jobs were always centred around curriculums with dogmatic and set lesson plans.  Teaching ethics at my sons school was one case in point.  I really struggled teaching to a script designed for novices to read out.  Despite the well designed questions and methods it was still very hard to manipulate the material into the students own head spaces.   

These days I have no lesson plans, instead and twist, bend and follow my students.  I work hard at meeting their specific needs.  Why fill their heads with useless or inappropriate knowledge. New knowledge has to be timely and targeted so it’s understood.  It takes real guts to go into a class without a plan.  Without an outcome fixed firmly in your head.  It took years of practice to let go.   

Being good at teaching starts with becoming an amazing listener.    If you teach just to listen to your own voice I suspect your not doing your job very well.

I wonder how listening fits in with performers?   Interactions create connections.

Listening is a key element in my photography. I must listen to my surroundings, the environment I am in, to country.  This also takes huge amounts of practice and skill development.  It takes sensitivity.   

One also needs to listen to oneself.  To your subconscious and to your feelings.  

People who can listen.  I mean really listen find the answers, the artworks, the methods and teachings just turn up.   

It is truely amazing.  Those that can listen will find their answers whispered to them.   

Trees on the Donaldson River, off the Pieman River near Corina.  The Tarkine.  Tasmania.  Join me here latter this year if you would like to photograph it with me.  This old forest has much to say. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018

Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer