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5 Gains from Teaching Part-time

Teaching is another “never-die” trait of mine, probably because I am a Leo: it feels like performing on a stage. I started accumulating my teaching credentials when I was a university student. At present I am teaching International Financial Reporting in Hong Kong for University of Sunderland. My favourite is Management Accounting, as there are many useful tools to help the business. Other business courses I taught were Financial Accounting, Business Law, and General Business. I tutored Logic & Methodology for The Open University of Hong Kong. Early on I had students learning English, chemistry and mathematics.

To me, teaching helps you to become a better manager.

1. Improve your presentation
You need to link your points, elaborate on them, and give examples. If you have never been a teacher before, I can tell you it is very different from being a student, just sitting there (and possibly day-dreaming haha). After structurally delivering a course, you will find it a lot easier when you have to present in the office, especially if what you teach after work is related to your daytime job, which is often the case.

2. Lower your stage fright
Everyone has been on the majority side of the classroom. There is a real difference when you take the other side. To stand in front of people to speak needs what it takes. Practice helps. In fact, I helped at the company annual dinner this year by being MC for half of the event. To be honest, I still felt a bit nervous before it started. But once I stepped on the stage, the anxiety disappeared and I was natural.

3. Become a better coach of your team
Very probably, in the course of teaching, the flow is not totally one-direction. Students may raise questions on topics they need more examples, or further illustration. After answering their questions and help them solve problems step-by-step, you will find a similar situation later, when you are coaching your team members. More than often knowledge and skills learnt in class are needed at work. The other way round, I actually hired some of students to be my subordinate at work. I will cover this in a later blog post.

An extra gain, in some cases, is to train your patience (smile :)).

4. Meet different people
Teaching evening or weekend classes means that your students study part-time, and like you they have a full-time job. They come from different industries, with unlike background. For example, you teach a marketing course, one of your students is from telecommunications while another works in fashion. In a tax training session, a participant can be from a listed company, while another from a tech startup. For students, taking a course is a good way to expand their network. Don’t feel blocked from them because you are the teacher! Just go talk to them. I feel it is a good way to meet people.

5. Another source of income
Last and certainly not least, you are earning from teaching. Yes it is not much since you are doing it part-time, but it feels great when you are paid to gain the above advantages! In my early teaching days, when I felt tired in preparation for a coming lesson after work, I always told myself: cheer up, someone is paying you to learn!

As a reminder, the big premise is that taking up part-time teaching should not affect your day job. If you have not had any experience, 1 evening (or weekend afternoon) per week is the maximum. Because you need time to prepare, don’t overload yourself with excess engagements. You may want to tell your supervisor about it (sometimes you are required to). Because my work was not affected, my past bosses were either indifferent, or interested and asked what I taught and how it went. And the conversation got better when I told them jokes I made in class.

If you are interested just go to job sites to check out the ads, like you would do when you look for a day job. You can also go to the website of the institutes near you. They usually have a recruitment page and you can see what instructors they need at the moment. Some openings just ask for a qualification e.g. a master degree, while others give preference to those with relevant working experience.

(post from my earlier blog in 2017)

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