What I've Learned as a Teacher
By Linda Evenson
Four years ago, I started the Internet Scoping School, located at www.scopeschool.com. While many of my students have told me how much they've learned, I wonder if they've learned near as much as I have.
1. Hindsight is 20/20. If I had to write my course again - God forbid! - I could do it so much better and faster. Years ago I did some in-house training for a reporting firm in Spokane, but it was all hands-on. This was the first time I'd ever written a real training program, and looking back, I see where I made mistakes and made things more difficult for myself than they had to be. However, the experience was invaluable, and I count myself fortunate to have had the chance to do this.
2. English skills are alive and well in America. I give prospective students a little word skills test, to ensure that they either have good word skills or are aware they need to do some work in that area. Having heard about the poor state of education in our country and how graduating seniors can barely read, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many Americans have excellent word skills. These are the folks I love to get into scoping. They will just raise the bar on the standards for the profession.
3. There is a lot of interest in home-based businesses. More and more people are working from home. They modem work into the office, teleconference via video cam, and find other innovative ways to avoid the hours-long commute into the city. I find people are very interested in the flexibility that scoping offers, and the appeal of being one's own boss is very attractive to people who have too long been victims of corporate ladder-climbing. Scoping is a little-known but viable home-based business that is attracting a lot of new interest.
4. My faith in human beings is justified. We all hear stories about how selfish and cruel people can be. In teaching my students, I have found them to be intelligent, caring, funny, honest, dedicated and, as a whole, a wonderful group of people. It is a pleasure to answer their questions, get to know them as people and help them get into a wonderful profession. Certainly our profession will be better for having them among our ranks.
5. I enjoy teaching. I've always liked interfacing with people and am pretty gregarious, but I find it very rewarding to share my knowledge and experience with these people who are so eager to learn and so desirous of being good at what they do. I now understand the love of teaching that some of my past teachers have exhibited. Opening up minds to new concepts and sharing the excitement of that moment when they "get it" is truly satisfying.
6. I have a big responsibility. Not only have these folks paid me a fair chunk of change to teach them to scope, but they have invested a lot of faith in me as someone who knows what I'm doing and can lead them to a successful new career. I, in turn, am always mindful of the fact that I need to present to them a good example of how a professional scopist looks and acts. It's a big responsibility, but one that I'm honored to have.
7. As long as I teach, I will learn. I have found over the years that anytime there is an exchange of ideas among people, there's always an opportunity for learning. My students have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and seldom a day goes by where I don't find out something I didn't know or gain a new perspective on something I did. My belief has always been that we are put on this earth to learn and grow until the moment we leave it. That I'm in a position to do that every day is very lucky for me.
8. A little encouragement goes a long way. Whenever we're trying to learn something new, there are moments of struggle and discouragement. If I can be there to cheer my students on and share my own enthusiasm for this profession with them, it helps them get over the little humps and forge ahead with gusto. I've always believed that both good and bad attitudes are contagious; I'd personally like to start a positive epidemic in the scoping profession!
One of the best aspects of scoping is that there's always something new to learn. I count myself doubly blessed to have a chance to train tomorrow's scopists and to have the chance to learn what they have to teach me.
About the Author
JCR Contributing Editor Linda Evenson is from Lolo, Montana.