I was first approached to teach a class at Arizona State University back in 2001. ASU was just launching a Center for the Advancement of Small Business and they needed someone to teach a marketing and public relations course. I had gotten my master’s degree a couple years before that, I had been working in the field at that point for about 15 years, had been a guest speaker in classes before so certainly I was ready and able to impart knowledge.
How hard could it be? Assign a few readings, create a group project, give a couple tests, easy peasy.
Not so much. There is a big difference between being a guest speaker, dazzling the class with stories of real world experiences and a couple jokes and actually helping someone LEARN something.
About seven years ago, ASU came calling again, this time to teach an online class on PR for Special Events. Now this really should be easy, right? I had certainly improved since that first class in 2001. All I’d need to do was take all my great information, upload it and whamo! An online class.
Uh no. Not true. I could certainly be dazzling and funny in-person, but how was that going to transfer to a computer screen with no personal student interaction. Well, that first semester wasn’t so great, but thanks to the guidance of my pal Rachel Brockway (who would eventually co-teach the class with me), the online class improved. And tomorrow I will once again teach this class.
I’m also thrilled to be teaching in-person again as well; Phoenix College now offers Social Media for Small Business. Now I can combine the experiences of those early ASU classes with the online and social media skills that I continue to perfect and bring them to life in a classroom setting.
And along the way I had the chance (again with Rachel) to co-author several chapters for a marketing textbook for Grand Canyon University.
So yes, those of us that do can teach. And have some fun doing it.