To Teach is to Learn, to Learn is to Teach

One of the projects I’m currently working on is a creative writing work for the specific purpose of being used in a business environment to train employees about the importance of diversity in a very specific closed-door process. I’ve previously written on many subjects, including ethics within a certain field of work, and that experience also plays a role in preparing me for the challenges ahead. One of the things I reflect on during these projects is the fact that this work requires give and take on both sides of the artistic divide that mirrors what I feel in the classroom as a student and as a teacher. In short: there is value to learning while teaching and teaching while learning.

One of the requirements for me to successfully write these pieces for these businesses is that I understand that I do not know everything about their field or area or process. When dramatizing events I haven’t personally experienced (say, a board meeting for physicians) it becomes important for me (hired as the expert writer) to also take the role of the student while learning about their specific lingo, expressions, and procedures. Similarly, the product will only be successful if the client (physicians, for instance) are willing to hear what I feel is important dramatically to expressing what they want to express in the certain form they’ve hired me to write (business and art do mix, by the way).

Think back to the student presentations you were asked to give in various classes in school. Think about the group work you always loathed, knowing that one person would probably end up doing all the work. Think back to presentations and arguments where two sides had to take completely differing views and try to convince the other of their point. All of these exercises are not (necessarily) the busy work you might have thought them to be at the time. Always be the student, even when you’re the teacher. Teaching itself is a great way to learn. Re-think the value of some of those things you’re asked to do — they might just mirror what you’ll end up doing.