Skydiving and teaching: A comparison

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This holiday season my wife and my mom got me a gift to go skydiving. That’s right, going up to 13,000 feet and then jumping out of a plane. After I touched down and the adrenaline subsided I started to think about how skydiving and teaching were similar. I might be reaching on a few of these, but at any rate click on the past the break to take the plunge into my list! For the record, that picture was taken by Mel and the instructor is Kenny from Skydive Dubai. Those are some great guys who love what they do.

1) It can be scary

Remember your first time teaching? The very first day? It can be pretty frightening. I know I had all sorts of butterflies in my stomach. Now think about standing at the edge of a door that is 13,000 feet above the ground and someone is about to push you out said door? Yep, that qualifies as frightening as well. While each particular sensation of fear may be different, they both register with each person the first time.

2) Exhilarating

After the fear has passed and you’re dong your thing, it is an exhilarating feeling. Much like skydiving, once you get over that intense fear and those thoughts of Dear God did I just jump out of a plane? pass, there is an awesome thrill and exhilaration. While teaching I get that excitement when working with my students (maybe not as intense) but it by no means is not boring and very rewarding. It is part of the reason I like teaching so much.

3) Preparation is vital

I think this goes without explanation. When you’re teaching and don’t plan properly, your lesson, unit (and in many cases your day) can be totally ruined. With skydiving . . . well do I really need to spell it out? Lucky for me the people at Skydive Dubai were incredibly professional and everything went off without a hitch. All I had to bring was myself and the courage (which is no small feat mind you) to be pushed out that plane.

4) Coming back for more

Good teachers keep their students coming back for more. I imagine the same is true for companies like Skydive Dubai. If people have a great experience jumping out of the plane, than they will want to come back for more. I think that is what a good teacher should be like for their students. Their students should look forward to their classes and what they’re going to be doing. On the flip side the teacher should also be looking forward to what is happening and coming up. It makes it a win-win situation.

5) Trying new things

If there is one thing I can pull from this whole experience is that trying new things may be scary and uncertain, but it’s better than sticking your head in the sand and speculating about what you know. You go out there and try it, if it fails or doesn’t suit you then you can reflect and understand why. So if yo find yourself with the opportunity to skydive I encourage you to go for it. Hopefully you’ll like as much as I did. If not, it will certainly make you feel alive.

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About Patrick Cauley

I teach middle school technology and love to play around with tech and teach students and colleagues alike. You can read my blog at www.itbabble.com
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