November 5, 2013
I think we all have someone, or many someones, who we would refer to as a “teacher”.
Maybe your kindergartner teacher comes to mind. Or your minister, therapist, boss, friend, grandmother, father….
Some of these are spiritual teachers, life teachers, vocational teachers, educational teachers. Teachers, teachers everywhere.
” A true teacher is someone who can offer us a map,
a question, an insight,
or simply a listening presence that sparks a fire in us. “
I read something recently, and I will include the link at the end, that called into question the label of “teacher”, and the value, power, importance we place on that person. Sometimes we put them on a pedestal. Sometimes they put themselves on a pedestal.
But who IS a teacher? What is a teacher? How does someone become a teacher? Are we all teachers? Could we be? Should we be? Is a “teacher” finished being a “student”? Can they continue to learn from others?
What do you think? Who are the teachers in your life? What kind of teachers are they? Are they the kind of teacher that have some kind of piece of paper that says they are a “real” teacher, or have they become a teacher through life experiences? Do you view them as “different” from you, “better” than you, “smarter” than you? Do you regard them as someone “special” or “gifted”? Do you feel you could never be “as good a teacher” as they are?
Are you a “teacher”? To whom? About what? Do you think you’re “pretty special”? Do you feel as if you are a “student” too?
What happens when we stop being a student? What happens when we see ourselves as “above” someone else, or “better” than someone else?
I am a teacher and a student. Right now my most significant teachers are a group of three to six year olds. Sometimes I feel like they look up to me way too much, figuratively and literally, so I often sit on the floor. I am not smarter than they are. They teach me important things: “Just be kind” they say. To them that’s the answer. To almost any question they face.
I hope you have good teachers in your life. I hope you still see yourself as a student. If there is a pedestal involved I hope you can gently remove it.
“I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way.
I pointed ahead- ahead of myself as well as you.”
George Bernard Shaw
http://www.joantollifson.com/writing18B.html Go to entry 10-30-13, scroll down