Byron's Babbles

How Do I Teach That?

I’m not sure when I had last been in an actual movie theatre before last night for Top Gun: Maverick. It had been several years, though. My son was home and the family decided we would go. Great experience. Great movie. 🎥 Great popcorn with all the butter. 🍿 It really was a great movie. It was incredibly well-made and had many great leadership and teaching lessons. There were a couple of great lines that Maverick (Tom Cruise) made in the movie that jumped out at me. The one we will explore here is:

“It’s not what I am, it’s who I am. How do I teach that?”

Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell to Ice

At first Maverick rejects and dismisses the idea of being a teacher. In the end his students prove him wrong. The best leaders I’ve experienced have been teachers – they have worked to help develop me or give me development experiences. The leaders who are the worst at teaching or the ones that worry that someone will exceed them are the ones that have great talent slipping through their fingers. This idea of how to teach “who you are” is one I have contemplated over and over in education. In this movie it came down to the timeline of the mission being compressed so much that it sets off a wave of despondency and doubt within the ranks. The possibility of mission success seems hopeless. Maverick proves it can be done, however, by doing it. He stretches himself almost to the breaking point to serve as an inspiration to his young recruits, who now see what’s possible.

Do you model and set an example for those you serve? These are both great strategies for teaching.

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  1. […] I blogged about the great movie Top Gun: Maverick. In “How Do I Teach That?” I discussed the great line from Maverick (Tom Cruise): “It’s not what I am, it’s who I am. […]

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  2. […] amounts to a suicide mission. As I referred to earlier, I have already blogged about this movie in “How Do I Teach That?” and “Top Leaders Are Single Faced Not Two Faced.” Maverick has matured since 1986, when […]

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