Learning through teaching
I often suggest that designers and developer run a workshop to share their knowledge only to hear: “I couldn’t give a workshop, I’m not an expert”
I can understand where people are coming from when they say that, I had very similar thoughts a while ago when I was thinking of running a WordPress workshop. However there is something I have found extremely useful when it comes to preparing a lecture, a talk and most certainly when working towards putting on a workshop. The best way to learn a subject and become an expert is by teaching it to someone else.
It reminds me of a quote in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams:
What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your own mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. […] By the time you’ve sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you’ve certainly learned something about it yourself. The teacher usually learns more than the pupil.
Granted in context the quote is describing the art of programming, but I think it’s a great statement about teaching in general. To be able to explain something well to another person you need to truly understand it yourself. That being the case I would say that by running a workshop or giving a talk it will enable you to learn a subject so thoroughly that you might well consider yourself more of an expert afterwards than when you began.
So essentially what I’m saying is just what Richard is, go and put on workshops, it will be of benefit to you just as much as it will be to the people you will be teaching.