Empathy in the Classroom

By Dan Coulter Let me tell you about the worst "teacher" I ever had. He was a salesman standing in for a trainer who’d gotten ill. He’d come to our company’s location to teach a roomful of us to use a complicated, computer controlled, multi-projector slide show system. This salesman made a classic teaching mistake. He assumed that because something he worked with every day was easy for him to understand, it should be easy for others to pick up. He rattled off information about the system in machine-gun fashion. When he repeatedly asked us if we understood something and various class members said, "No," he impatiently snapped his fingers at us and barked, "Keep up, keep up!" Some students got

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