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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

What I learned teaching a class at 19

Throwback to the class I used to teach at UC Berkeley — as an undergrad!

University of California, Berkeley has a FANTASTIC program where you can teach a real class (2 units) to your fellow students, IF you jump through certain hoops: creating a syllabus and lesson plan, preparing a reading list, obtaining approvals from supervising faculty and dean’s office, conducting exams, etc.

Teaching this class for 7 semesters was a foundational experience in my life. I learned, among others,

- That I was not “shy by nature,” like I always thought I was growing up (being social can be learned, like just about everything else);

- How to be a public speaker (the first semester teaching I’d literally shake before class started; by last semester, I was BUZZING high after each class, from the energy);

- That the BEST way to learn is to teach (students come at you from ALL angles, with their questions and thoughts; to teach X, you need to learn X + all peripheries of X); and

- That humor, engagement, and participation are keys to success in a group learning setting.

This pic was taken 16 years ago, today.

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