Assisted Living, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, Independent Living, Library, Senior Center
A dear friend, a retired educator with several decades of experience, told me he had volunteered to teach a Hebrew class. I asked him, “what is your educational approach?” He replied with one word. “Love.” While my teaching approach includes establishing clear learning objectives, developing a step-by-step plan, providing an overview to students and guiding them through each phase, using a mixture of presentations, individual tasks, small-group exercises, and large group discussions, thoughtfully preparing materials and handouts, and remaining flexible to meet learners’ emerging needs and interests, I have based all of those techniques on my friend’s foundation. I love storytelling, I love to teach it, I love to see my students learn and discover their own talents, and I love the relationships we build. Because of my love of teaching and learning, I am very patient. I understand that the material may be difficult for students to understand and absorb even though it is clear and ingrained for me. Unpacking my understanding and figuring out how to present it in a way that connects with a particular learner is a challenge that I find highly rewarding. I have taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive education classes for decades in my capacity at the University at Albany, SUNY. Having retired from that job, I now apply my artistic and teaching skills to more informal settings.
Storytelling enables us to share what is most dear to us -- what we think and feel -- in a way that is engaging and memorable. It is valuable for the teller as well as the listener and helps to build or strengthen the relationship between them. It is essential in creating and maintaining community. "I have been listened to, therefore I am."