Good learners make good teachers

When I was working in industry before I decided to pursue a Ph.D., a good friend of mine sarcastically told me that I would make a good teacher because I like to talk about things that no one else cares about. While that may be true, I more strongly agree with Alec Couros that the best learners make the best teachers. Whether I learned about a new software package at a conference, found a new case to use in the classroom, or read about an emerging issue in Accounting or Information Technology, I find that the concepts I am most passionate about teaching are the ones I have recently learned about. For example, this summer I read a book titled “George Washington’s Expense Accounts”, which provided an overview of how George Washington kept his expense accounts during the Revolutionary War. The book also discussed the historical significance of each expense account entry. I used this book as the basis for a group presentation for my Honors BUAD 131 course. The presentation required the students to read the book, comment on George Washington’s ability to keep accurate expense reports, and then review UMW’s policy for expense reports. When I was reviewing this group project at the beginning of the semester and listening to the group’s presentation at the end of the semester, I sensed that I really taught this well. Probably because it was something I recently learned more about myself.

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