I decided I wanted to be a technical writer after an internship in 1991. I started getting paid for it in 1994. And shortly thereafter, stand-up training became part of my job description.
You see, if you’re the person writing the user documentation, then you’re probably not a bad candidate for such. That’s how the thinking goes, anyway. In my case, it wasn’t a bad assumption. I have no fear of public speaking, and I’m relentlessly organized in ways conducive to putting classroom time together.
So I taught software classes, both at home (Intergraph Building 20, anyone?) and on customer sites. I enjoyed it very much. I liked seeing different parts of the country on my employer’s dime, but I also enjoyed the challenge of holding my students’ attention. I figured out early that if I prepared rigorously, it wasn’t the least bit stressful. The hardest part was remembering to bring doughnuts on the last day.
See, but adults bring an inherent forgiveness to a classroom experience. If you don’t bring your A-game to children, they eat you alive. Children are not blessed/cursed with any sort of courtesy filter when it comes to such. If you suck, then you better believe you’ll know it.
I remember Robin Williams’s character in Mrs. Doubtfire telling his boss that you don’t play down to children, you just play to them. I am trying hard to remember that teaching my boys and their classes at church. I taught Aaron’s class last month, and I’m teaching Nathan’s class this month.
I am so blessed to be in these kids’ lives for part of their spiritual growth. I take that responsibility very seriously, and I am thankful for the marvelous feeling of fulfillment I have at noon on Sunday when I’m teaching.
God, please help me make sure they’re getting as much of You as I’m capable of bringing them.