Wednesday, 8 October 2014

ASIDE: On the Personal Anecdote in the Classroom

Since it can be viewed as a superfluous waste of valuable classroom time, a teacher is often tempted to forgo personal anecdotes in the day to day exercise of academic instruction.  As part of the human element of teaching, unlike other areas of instructive interaction, the influence of the anecdote can never be truly quantified and so its significance in the process of instruction never accurately measured.

In terms of the intuitive communicative link between two or more separate individuals, however, an instructor’s well-placed, well-spoken personal anecdote is often that necessary part of the teaching process that connects: the bridge or pathway to human meeting human, where two separate perceptions of inviolable individuality overlap to find common ground.  For some students, it is the vital starting point of the mind’s flower opening up to what the teacher, over time, hopes to pour into the root of it.

One caution: It must be appropriate and, above all, genuine.  Like most animals, humans can smell insincerity like an odour.

"In fact, it reminds me of the time I wrestled an alligator after making love to twenty women!"

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