Day 21: My final night teaching for UMUC Europe (for now!)

Albert Einstein once said, “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”For the last 18 months I’ve had the honor of providing those learning conditions in Advanced Business Writing, Organizational Leadership, and Fundamentals of Oral Communication for University of Maryland University College here in Sicily. Teaching always puts me at ease and fills my love tank in a way the Navy doesn’t. But, to be honest, my students teach me. They teach me compassion and patience and empathy and how to listen. They teach me to visit Peru and why every person should own a dog. They teach me the balance between practicing justice and mercy and how to gracefully say no. They teach me why I should be a vegetarian and why King Charles spaniels are the perfect companions. They teach me to learn at any and every age and that failing gracefully is always in style. They teach me why Fight Club is arguably the best movie ever and how to avoid the boring table topics. They teach me that creating a safe learning environment is 80% of teaching, and accepting failure in that environment is the rest. I’ll miss this motley crew.

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