Learning Wisdom Through Online Teaching

Learning Wisdom Through Online Teaching

Written By: Dr. Ofelia Jianu, Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Windsor

Cover Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

“By three methods we may learn wisdom. First, by reflection, which is noblest. Second, by imitation, which is easiest and third by experience which is bitterest.” – Confucius

The #OLDFF sessions gave me the opportunity to interact with individuals from different programs, different institutions, and different levels. As I reflected on the discussions, Confucius quote became very relevant. Most of us were suddenly immersed in the world of online for teaching, and in a pursuit to become competent in front of our students we imitated an expert in the field of online teaching. Given everything was new, from simple things such as learning how to set up the camera so the students can get the most of the video to more advanced such as finding teaching materials without violating copyrights, it comes as no surprise that delivering the materials became the main objective and focusing on how the material is delivered may be secondary. As I grew in my abilities I reflected on my journey and determined ways I could improve. The second time teaching online was more manageable, students were more responsive and engaged hence it is fitting that the third method to learn wisdom is by experience. Experience is acquired when we show up whether we have perfected the method or not. When we are persistent and patient. One cannot expect to become an expert after one semester of teaching. If we want excellence in teaching, we must strive to do better, to be better to continuously grow. Teaching, whether online or in person, takes courage; it takes a constant rediscovery of ourselves; and its very nature requires one to be vulnerable for I believe that without vulnerability no one would ever show up. During these challenging times students and teachers alike are all “The Man in the Arena”

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