Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Metamorphosis: When the student becomes the teacher

We take writing classes/workshops to hone our craft in order to make us better writers, and perhaps, (secretly hoping) to become the next Steinbeck, Poe, or Hemingway. We trust our professors and mentors because they’re knowledgeable, but most importantly because they were students once. Who better to understand what we’ve been through but them? But what happens when the student becomes the teacher? I’ve asked myself this question, especially lately, at my writing class. Let me explain. I've taken quite a few writing workshops and at a recent writing course the material covered in class was something that I've already studied. The teacher was helpful, approachable, and made the students feel at ease. All my mentors have taught me something but the mechanics of writing are always the same but with a different spin. So I wonder, how many times can you paraphrase the basics without sounding redundant?

I shared my concern with a fellow writer and she said, “You should be teaching a writing class.” Her kind words strengthened my shaky confidence. Like most writers, I am my own worst critic. I sometimes doubt my editing skills even after I hear praises from my fellow writers. I may not feel ready to teach a writing class, but I am certain of the knowledge I’ve acquired thanks to all my mentors.

Is my friend right? Can I take a leap of faith? Have my teachers passed on the torch without me being aware? Have I metamorphosed into a teacher?

How about you? Have you ever been in a similar situation?


  1. Claudia!! Why not?!?!?!?! I think you'd make a fab teacher - your blog posts are clear, succinct and always very very very helpful and informative! I hope you do look into this - you've got a great bio too - you've got the experience!! :-)Good luck!!!

    I'd never be a teacher! I hate public speaking and I always want to be alone! And I prefer learning, to be honest. I like being taught and doing the research into what I've just learnt!

    Take care

  2. If you want to teach, take that leap! Your blog is proof that you're ready.

    Were you taking the editing course to improve your writing, or were you thinking of getting into professional editing? I was looking around Mtl. for editing classes a few years back; couldn't really find anything suitable. Would be interested to know more about your experience.

    Thanks so much for dropping by my blog, and for your kind comments

    Btw, not sure why, but lately it takes forever to load your page. Other Blogger pages are loading normally. Don't know if it's my computer or your site.

  3. AAWWWW!!!! You're so sweet, Jennifer. :)
    Well, I'll let you in on a secret (I am a teacher, ssshhhh!) Obviously, not a writing teacher. I'm not shy, that's for sure. I don't mind speaking in public. If I decide to do it, it'll be once I feel 100% comfortable with this subject matter: writing fiction ;)

  4. Hi Chris,
    You're too kind. Thanks for your comment. Perhaps you'd like to try AELAQ at: http://www.aelaq.org/
    Sometimes they have editing workshops.
    Let me know if you sign up ;)
    And yes, I'm having problems with blogspot. Don't know what it is but it's extremely slow.

  5. Go for it! With your interest, you'll probably be an excellent teacher.

  6. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for your kind words.

  7. One of my writing friends tested the waters at a local university by being a guest teacher first, then she was asked to teach a full course. I think if you think you might be interested in the idea, then you are moe than likely very capable. I take you to be a very logical person. So I would expect if you weren't capable you wouldn't even consider it. Intelligence requires knowing your boundaries...You are an intelligent woman, Claudia. You'll know if teaching a writing course is in your boundaries. :)

  8. Hi Sharon,
    I am touched by your kind words. Since I already teach adults, I don't think I'd have a problem there. I just have to incorporate the "writing" to my teaching experience ;) I appreciate your wonderful advice!

  9. I bet you'll be a great teacher. Take the leap because you never know when another opportunity will present itself. :)

  10. Thank you for your encouraging words, Alleged!
    I will definitely think about it.

  11. Think of the new things you will learn about writing...by teaching writing yourself.

  12. Everything I want to say has been said. I will only say what I tell my children. Doors are meant to be opened - in some cases kicked. Good luck

  13. Hi Adam,
    Hmmm, you have a point. I guess I could take the plunge ;)

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the encouraging words! I love what you tell your kids. So true!