I'm currently attending the Public Relations Society of America International Convention in Austin, TX. I perked up when I heard a participant on a teaching panel said, “I teach technology. I’m also a practitioner who does technology. I have to do both.”
So do I.
I have to do what I teach. My practice informs my teaching; in turn, my teaching makes me a better practitioner.
At times during the 20 years I’ve been teaching, there’s been an imbalance. At one point I was teaching almost exclusively. I wasn’t consulting. I felt the imbalance. My lessons felt adrift, unmoored from what was actually going on in the world around me.
I routinely draw on my professional experience in the classroom. But I can only summon the past for so long. My insight must be grounded in current practice. Only then will it profoundly resonate with me and, in turn, my students.
That's why I always strive to teach AND do. To consult with organizations and individuals as I engage with students. That kind of synergy works best for me. And I also believe it best serves my students and clients.