“While We Teach, We Learn”

Shaft switched rag rug“While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. According to an article that appeared in Time magazine back in November 2011, students who teach others as they learn themselves, researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively.

The article notes that it’s the emotions elicited by teaching that make it such a powerful vehicle for learning. Instructors feel chagrin when their pupils fail; when they succeed, teachers feel what is described best by the Yiddish term nachas: “Pride and satisfaction that is derived from someone else’s accomplishment.”

Linda's shaft switchingTeaching handweaving has most certainly made me a better and more knowledgeable weaver. I learn from my students’ questions and observations and I am inspired to learn more to to always have something new to share with them.

But, most of all I am inspired by their accomplishments, which sometimes far exceed my own. Such was the case with a recent class on shaft switching. I gave students an assignment to weave a small rug or runner on summer-and-winter threading and using shaft switching.

Wool shaft switching

These small rugs that Linda wove are far beyond anything I have done with the technique that I taught her. The pride and satisfaction that I feel in her weaving is immense and students’ work such as this most definitely motivates me to continue to improve as both a weaver and a teacher.

Click on each of the photos to enlarge them.