When you experience something new, a sort of rush comes over you. If you enjoy it, you smile. If you’re excited about it in anticipation, you buy candy and make a trivia game.
This is what happened when I received an email out of the blue from a former professor of mine. It went something along the lines of “Hey, I’m going to be out of town, and this is what I’m talking about, and I know you know the subject pretty well….so wanna teach it for a day?”
I. FLIPPED. OUT.
I was so excited. I had done countless presentations in school, and have always loved public speaking. Better yet, I had always thought in some of my classes, particularly ones I found myself getting bored in, “What would I do differently if I taught this class?”
Well, I never got too bored in this particular class when I took it, because, well, it was all about creative advertising. That’s my interest, my passion, my love. So naturally, I was holding onto every word my professor said.
When it was my turn to teach the same class, I had two goals in mind:
- The students need to actually retain the material.
- They need to have fun doing it!
So, I came in with a plan.
Armed with a colorful Google Slides presentation, hours of practice, TONS of pictures, a trivia game, and candy, I walked into the first of two classes I could be teaching that day. I went through the presentation without any problems, and actually got a lot of great engagement from the other students. They were asking questions, they were excited about my trivia game, and I knew they were retaining the material. I even had some students stay after class and ask me more questions. I had never felt like an experience that seemed fun to me could be so rewarding toward other people - especially my peers.
I might not go out and become a professor, but I will ask about this opportunity again in the future. I had the time of my life, and I was absolutely certain that those students had a better experience than I did when I took the same class. Not because of the teacher or the content, but there’s just something unique about a peer talking to you and saying “Listen man, here’s how you can succeed, and I know you’ll believe me because we’re pretty much the same.”
It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever encountered, and I can’t wait to do it again.