It seems like an overly general question to ask if instructing or teaching is hard but let’s ask it anyways.
“Is instructing hard?”
Asking a question like this—about a skill that you may or may not have started to develop or use is like asking—is it hard to land a plane?
A seasoned pilot will say ‘No.’ A person who has never thought of flying would say ‘Yes.’ When it comes to instructing on any skill the worst thing for most instructors will be simply; getting up in front of others and starting.
Nearly 1 in 2 people have a fear of speaking in public regardless of who the audience is, let alone following through with all of the other aspects of instruction that you need to achieve competency in the people being taught.
Answer the question, man!
Like any new skill, teaching and instructing can bethought of as a skill that is hard to learn—but there are definitely tips and tricks that you can use to make it easier not only for you but also to get better outcomes for those being taught & trained.
In the video for this week, we cover a number of points to make instructing that much easier, but there are some other points that can be considered here as well that can make instructing harder when we start and these can come down to your discipline as an instructor.
At its core, Teaching is simply passing on what you know to others, and that is easy.
Presenting, explaining and leaving it with students is easy.
However as a subject matter expert we tend to make instruction more complicated, particularly when the end goal is to achieve independence in the people being trained. This is where some complications show up.
Why do we tend to complicate things? Is Instructing Hard?
As said, at its core, teaching is easy! But instructing does require a few finer personal skills & resources, namely time & patience with the goal of independence in mind.
Skills take time to learn & Instructing takes time! To that end teaching also takes patience. Trainees make mistakes and for anyone proficient in the skill being taught this can go as far as being frustrating.
After all when a trainee does make mistakes or does things slower it can be easier to simply complete the task or carry out the skill for them. Needless to say this slows down learning and makes instruction harder, and increases dependence.
Ultimately instructing is not ‘hard’ but it is intimidating & does require time and patience.
If instructing was as easy as its root requirement of ‘passing on what you know’, then it would be a skill which we could all do. We would all do it well, and trainee outcomes would be perfect first time . . . but we all know this isn’t the case.
Passing on what you know is easy—teaching new skills to a level of independence is not hard but is a challenge that requires discipline, practice, time and patience.