Thinking About Teaching

8am Saturday morning, and I’m seeing a manager out the door after a good management case-study session. I’m repeating his homework for next week, before he turns to me and abruptly interrupts: “How did you come up way of teaching English?”

Hmmm. Mmmm. I’m confused.


For most of us who are in the education business without a formal college pedigree in ‘how to teach’, we fell in by accident (those honest enough to admit this, anyway!).

We discovered strategies to help ourselves learn effectively, and we simply pass it on. My family can attest to my childhood days spent walking around the house, reading aloud to myself, writing the same phrases over and over again… I have to do all three to absorb material… Plus, talking about current affairs and business comes naturally to me (thank you, mom, for being obsessed with the news when we were young!) – This background ended up being a perfect fit for a consultancy in (business or college-level) language acquisition, particularly anyone in journalism, research, business, PR, etc.


I only know one thing: I explicitly ask for critical thinking in every session, whether speaking with a 16 or 60 year old. After a few months or years, critical thinking becomes second nature, but instilling the habit requires constant reminders.

This is an oldie, but a goody: “Pedagogy for developing critical thinking in adolescents: Explicit instruction produces greatest gains” (Marin and Halpern, 2010).

If you have a reading to recommend, please recommend it to me via Facebook tonight! I’m amassing a list of reading this weekend, so I’ll have a better answer for my curious clients next time. 😉





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