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Remember How Hard it Was for You to Learn

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received as an educator is “remember how hard it was for you to learn.” This thinking is applicable to literally any subject. We become so familiar with the field that we teach within that we can forget how difficult the information was to learn the first time around. This can lead to an assumption that certain details are obvious, resulting in glossing over important information or omitting it altogether.

Of course there is a reason why we are teaching the subject- we are experts. We can't easily forget all of our knowledge, nor would we want to. Our goal should be to empathize with our students as they traverse the subject for the first time, and leverage that empathy to ensure that we are providing the most coherent and holistic instruction to our students. Starting from a place of remembrance of our own days of ignorance can help us to see things through the eyes of our students, and ensure that our expert status is the reason why our students learn, instead of why they don't.

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