In my last post I discussed why I joined The Iron Yard and why I am so interested in teaching. In this post I will discuss what I learned from my teachers.
I have had a lot of teachers in my life but there are only a couple of teachers who made a very big impact. One of them was Sir Safdar, he was my Calculus I & II teacher in high school in Pakistan. Sir Safdar was an extremely strict teacher, who demanded structure and discipline in his class. Unlike other teachers his punishments were never physical beatings but more on the side of redoing the homework 3 times.
I still remember one day I was showing him my homework and he asked me that why I have not listed the steps of solving the quadratic equations. I proudly told him that my brand new calculator is capable of solving quadratic equations by just inputting the values. He asked me to show him how the calculator does this magic and then he tore all the pages from my register and told me to do it all again, showing each step.
One time he gave the class to solve 14 math problems. These were insanely hard questions and I could not even solve one of them. But I never gave up and tried and tried and after almost 6-8 hours I was able to solve 10 out of 14. On my way to his class I was terrified because I was not able to solve those remaining 4 problems. He looked at my register and said good work. I was surprised and told him that I was not able to solve all of them. What he said in reply changed my life forever.
He said "Azam, The reason I am NOT mad at you for not solving all the problems is because I can see in your register that you tried to solve it multiple times in different ways. You never gave up! And that is what I ask from my students, never give up on anything. Do your best and be happy with the result".
I adopted the same principle when I was teaching Math and Computer Science to my fellow students. I asked them to show me where they have attempted to solve the problem and how many times they have failed.
I hope I can also teach my students some life lessons, which they adopt in their professional as well as personal lives getting them closer to their dreams.