Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
For love of teaching
When it comes right down to it, teaching is the foundation of human interaction.
We are raised by the lessons of our parents, and try to teach our own with their best interests in mind. We learn from our peers in competition, friendship and even in deceit. Life is a sequence of lessons, we do well to learn from them.
Yet where you can "learn your lesson" from happenstance like tripping on a shoelace, teaching comes from a love of sharing the subject matter in the heart of the instructor, not to mention discipline and hard work driven by that love. You can't teach for ego - the student can see what the instructor can not about his own presentation. You can't teach for money either - you teach for love of teaching or else more than likely you suck at it.
You teach because you love to teach.
Combined with discipline, you'll eventually be good at it and you might even make money or you might not - but it doesn't matter because people will appreciate your efforts and in the end, good human interaction is tremendously rewarding. Personal skill also improves with a disciplined approach, and that is equally rewarding. Win-win.
I have been called upon to develop and deliver classes in the technology field often over the last two decades, but have been "teaching" fly casting and sight fishing techniques in a comparatively ad hoc manner for going on 9 years. Where I have always taken one as a disciplined occupation with consequences if not done optimally, I've looked at the other as almost a social event. Sure I've connected with some; but have surely missed a thing or two with others. Or three.
My recent visit and experiences at Golden Gate Casting Club has made me realize that to become a good fly casting instructor requires the same discipline in that pursuit as he/she does in any professional walk of life. It was an epiphany of sorts.
I will always be a fisherman first, and a caster second - but I am committed to a very disciplined approach to the preparation and instruction of fly casting skill. I've taken the opportunity to interact with over 40 people on the topic of casting since the GGACC event last month, and although time is always a very limiting factor in the amount of interaction you can budget with each person whether there were 2 or 20 people, I've already felt the difference in analysis, ability to recommend remedies, metaphors I can call upon, concepts I can share in order to connect.
I'm only on the first leg of a lifelong journey but hope to connect with dozens, hundreds, thousands of people on the topic of casting over my lifetime. Not for ego, not for money. I hope to fulfill this commitment to be the best instructor I can be because I truly love to teach.