December 15th, 2016 by David Grimes

What makes someone a ‘qualified’ teacher?

Some of you may know, well before I was a calligrapher, I coached swim, parkour, and eventually gymnastics. I’ve been a coach my entire adult life, and while I like to think that I’m finally getting the hang of it, I definitely didn’t start out that way.

Being good at something doesn’t make you a good teacher. It helps, sure, but it’s not the only element in play. Being a teacher consistently, working to inspire, leading by example and adopting a genuine concern for the development of both the skill and lives of your students, putting in hours teaching…that makes you a good teacher.

But nobody starts there. Nobody wakes up one day and knows how to lead a class. Nobody writes perfect curriculum. Nobody has all the answers.

I think it’s really important for those of you out there who care enough to share penmanship through teaching to feel empowered to step up and do just that. Share what you can. Sometimes, we’re told that we shouldn’t teach until we have some ‘level of proficiency’, and while I think that’s true, I think that it’s up to you to decide when you’re at that level. Nobody else gets to decide when you’re good enough. Ever.

Everyone who showed up in my beginner workshop last weekend genuinely looked like they walked away with something of value. That’s what I care about. We made it all the way through the curriculum that we set out to. Was it perfect? Not at all. But I will learn, I will refine, and I will show up again tomorrow and do my best. You should too.

Portland Calligrpahy Workshop at OCAC

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