Sunday, March 8, 2009

Teaching and Tarot

I work part-time for an online education company. One great thing about this is the commute! I work from home, at the kitchen table. This also allows me to stay home to look after my four-year-old daughter. The worst part of my job is having to work around my daughter. I end up working early in the morning, before she's up, again while she's at preschool, which only gives me a couple of hours, then again while she takes a nap, if I'm lucky.

The company I work for offers short, concentrated courses on a variety of subjects. The course material is web-based, and then there are discussion areas, where students can ask questions and get help. My job is to monitor the discussion areas, answer questions, and encourage students to apply and expand upon the lesson material.

I do enjoy teaching. It is most rewarding to see that "lightbulb" moment when a student gets excited about learning a new concept and sees its potential. I mostly work in an introductory Microsoft Access course, but also assist with Microsoft Excel and web design courses.

I previously worked for many years in IT, and I would say that this is the most enjoyable job I have had. I walked into it quite by chance when I first moved into the US about ten years ago, and was waiting for a work permit. I figured I should update my skills and signed on for a couple of online courses. I evidently impressed the founder of the company, who was my instructor at the time, and he invited me to join the faculty.

Just for something completely different, I also offer tarot card readings by e-mail. I have been reading tarot cards since my teens, but I only turned professional a year or two ago, after being persuaded by others that my readings were very good. I have a policy that is very unusual these days; I invite people to pay me what they think the reading was worth to them, within their means. I believe tarot to be a great tool for empowering others, and I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping people. I don't feel comfortable denying anyone the benefits that a reading can give, simply because they don't earn much money.


Lexie said...

I also think your readings are great Graham. And I hope this coming from another tarot card reader means something :D

Graham said...

Thanks Lexie. And in the interests of full-disclosure, Lexie is one of the people who persuaded me to offer my services to a wider audience.

And as I periodically remind her, she's a great reader herself.

Dr. Sanford Aranoff said...

If you wish to be a good teacher, you must understand how students think and build from there. See "Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better" on amazon.

Graham said...

While I'm sure Dr. Aranoff's book is wonderful, It looks like he forgot to mention that *HE* is the author of the book he recommended.

I enjoy learning myself, and I know how I respond to various ways of teaching, so I do believe that helps when teaching. It's true that some teachers forget what it's like to be a student.

Also, no two students are alike. Different people respond to different methods. When you can't reach one using a certain approach, you need to be able to find another way.