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Step into your power as a teacher

Senior African woman in classroom

The pandemic has thrown the importance of learning, and especially online learning, into high relief.

Going to school is a privilege that, we are now seeing, we can’t take for granted. The issue of equal access to online education for all, is a profound social issue that lies at the heart of building a society that provides equal opportunities for all.

As we’ve explored in the pages of this blog, barriers created by lack of access to technology, or lack of knowledge as to how technology works, are the biggest obstacles to online learning.

The next biggest obstacle is poor learning design… an obstacle that can be overcome using the Course Design Formula®.

siilhouette of a person's head with a lightbulb inside it

Even with good learning design, we also need to take individual learning styles and preferences into account.

As I shared in last week’s blog post, I’m creating a course to help each learner customize their own learning experience in any online course they ever take… including yours.

So those are the obstacles we need to overcome.

But How?

What’s the biggest facilitator of online learning? 

What’s the one thing that makes the most important difference

in helping people learn online?

The biggest facilitator of online learning is YOU.

You, the teacher.


 Who are you, as a teacher?

What do your interests, training, and life experiences uniquely qualify you to teach to a global audience?

 What’s the key transformation you are on this planet to help people achieve?



That’s a really big question,

and the answer might not be what seems immediately obvious,

on the surface.

Take me. I thought I was here to help people create effective and engaging online courses. And I am. That is what I do.

But if you look behind that, look deeper, what do you see?

You see that:


I am on this planet to help you  step into YOUR power as a teacher, 

and express that power to a global audience.

That’s my unique teaching proposition.

That’s what I’m here to help you do.

Take a minute and think about what YOU are here to do. 

Start at the surface level... what’s the clear and obvious end product of the online course or courses you want to create?

Then go deeper. Look behind that surface level.

  • Why is it important that people achieve that result?
  • How will the world be a better place because of what you help people do?
  • How will your course participants’ lives be different and better because they were lucky enough to cross paths with you, and take your course?
  • And why does that matter… to you, to them, and to the world?



What is your “WHY” for teaching online?

 Finding your why is an important component of mindset change.

But...why do we need an attitude adjustment for online learning?
happy and sad faces

We need it because setting up a successful online teaching business is a marathon, not a sprint.

This is a community of dedicated experts and entrepreneurs, whose motive for teaching online is to make a positive difference in others' lives.

We're neither fooled nor motivated by popular ads that suggest it's possible to make oodles of cash by "teaching online while you sleep", without having to actually do any work or know anything about our subject matter.

In order to fulfill our goals as service-oriented, mission-driven online educators, we've dedicated our lives to learning a LOT about what we are here to teach.

And we know we have to be awake to do it… both literally and figuratively.

NO

teacher sleeping on top of her desk

YES

Female Teacher at Blackboard

The conventional wisdom in the online course marketing space, is that one should sell one’s course before one has built it.  

I find that many people in the Learn and Get Smarter community, myself included, don’t find this way of thinking about course creation workable for the courses we want to create.

It certainly makes sense to pilot one’s course and test one’s ideas to be sure there’s a market for them,  and to find out who our future course participants are and what they want and need to learn from us.

(I've even created an action plan to help you get started on that process, if you haven't already.)

But the kinds of courses the members of this community are committed to building can’t be put together in a week or two once we’ve seen there’s demand. 

If you’re part of this community it’s because you want to share your life’s work with the world in a meaningfully transformative way, and it takes time to build an online course that can truly change peoples' lives.


Selling an online course is hard, there’s no doubt about it.

 But creating an online course that provides real value and real results,

 is even harder.

And if you don’t have an online course that provides real value and real results,

you won’t have anything you'll be truly excited about selling, to begin with.


Understanding who YOU are as a teacher, mentor, and guide is key to this whole process. 

As that teacher, mentor, and guide, you are going to be leading groups of people on a journey from point A to point B.

What’s the journey you want to take people on, and why is it important to you to do that?

People walking in line across painted brain, on asphalt

And since it's the time of year when we explore things that are on the scary side,

let's remember what's REALLY scary in online courses.... long talking heads videos

that put your students to sleep and turn them into ZOMBIES!


You are invited to continue the conversation in the Facebook group,

 and at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting next Saturday.

I hope you can join in and share your thoughts.

What is YOUR deep purpose for teaching online?

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 31st,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Who are you here to serve?

Group of people on peak mountain climbing helping team work , travel trekking success business concept

In honor of Father's Day, which just passed, I'd like to send a note of appreciation to all members of the Learn and Get Smarter community who are Dads.

Fathers are powerful teachers, not only in their own children's lives but for the community as a whole, and I'd like to share some wisdom that I learned from my own father, that is relevant to the endeavor we are all engaged in: creating effective and engaging online courses that really teach, at a deep level.

My father had a reservoir of stories and anecdotes, many of which were passed down from HIS father in the form of wisdom tales, and I'd like to share one with you now. It goes like this (and please keep in mind that this is intended purely as a humorous teaching story, and not as a theological treatise or commentary of any kind).

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a man who, unlike all of you, did not lead an exemplary life. He wasn't like you at all, because he wasn't kind, he wasn't caring, and he didn't do good things to help others. So, unfortunately, after he passed away he ended up in... well, let's just put it politely by saying, he didn't get to go to a very nice place.

Instead,  he found himself in the nether regions being greeted by a guide who offered to give him a tour of the facilities.  

The man, however, was very surprised by what he saw there! He was expecting to see all kinds of punishments... but instead he saw a lush banquet table piled to the brim with delectable goodies.

How could this be? People were seated on both sides of the table, and in front of them was every kind of delicacy imaginable!

"I'm confused", the man said to his tour guide. "I thought that being down here was supposed to be a punishment?"

"Look closer," his guide admonished, and when he did, the man saw  that the people at the table had been given extra long forks... forks that were longer than their own arms.

Even though all sorts of delicious food was right in front of them, the people were not able get it into their mouths.

"Would you like to see what it's like upstairs?" his kind guide  asked. "You can't stay there, but you can get a quick glimpse of what you're missing."

The man was very curious, so he jumped at the chance to see what the reward of a virtuous life would have been like.  When they got there for the tour, though, he was even more surprised.

At first glance, it looked JUST like what he'd seen downstairs! He saw the same banquet table, piled high with the same delectable treats! And he even saw... the same long forks!

"Now wait just one minute," the man exclaimed in confusion. "How is this any different than what we just saw downstairs?"

"Look closer" his wise guide told him.  

And when the man looked closer, he realized in a flash what the difference was.

Here, the people were not trying (and failing) to feed themselves using those extra long forks.

Instead, they were using the long forks to feed each other across the table."

And that one difference in perspective, the perspective of focusing on serving others, was what made all the difference .


At the Learn and Get Smarter community meetings, and in this blog, we've considered how our own missions and businesses can contribute to overcoming inequities and creating a better world for all.

When I think of the people who make up this learning and teaching community, one thing stands out:

 This is a community focused on using online courses as a way of serving others. 

The courses we are working so hard to create, are our own "long forks". 

At last week's community meeting, we touched on the issue of leadership as an important factor that determines whether individuals, families, communities, nations, and our planet as a whole, can survive and thrive.

The pandemic throws these issues into high relief, creating a learning opportunity--a learning NECESSITY--for our planet as a whole.

When leadership at any level is focused in self-serving ways (trying to feed ITSELF with those long forks), not only is the result unsatisfying, but everyone ends up feeling terrible.

Enlightened leadership, on the other hand, is focused on SERVICE.


Service can include:

  • Promoting physical health and well-being for oneself and others
  • Strengthening positive relationships between individuals and among groups
  • Developing business practices that support the good of all
  • Creating opportunities for others to learn and grow
  • Building communities that enhance the well-being of all their members
  • Working towards local and global economies that sustainably meet everyone's needs

Online learning is at the epicenter of the shakeup that is happening in the pandemic's wake. Creating online learning that truly serves the communities we are called to work with, is not just a job, a profession, or a role.

Transformative online teaching is a calling, and if you're reading this, you have heard, and answered, that call.

In the Course Design Formula® Master Course this week, we will be delving into market research. One can think of market research as a way of learning more about the people we are here to serve, and how we can best serve them. Who are they? What are they dealing with? What help do they need that we are able to provide?

Whether you are in the course, or are able to come to the community meeting next Saturday, or not, let's all take some time this week to reflect on the people sitting across from us at the long banquet table of life. What can we provide them with, to make their lives better? How can we promote perspectives of service in our courses, our businesses, and in the world?

We'll continue to explore these ideas together, at the community meeting next Saturday. I hope you can join us and share your thoughts.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Click on the green button to register for the meeting.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Group of Multiethnic Diverse World People