As an educator for nearly forty years, and always a student as well, I have had many opportunities to learn from my inner TEACHER Archetype Ally, also from my ‘outer’ teachers, and from both inner and outer Spiritual Guides I have discovered and welcome within my ever developing consciousness. Teaching is a way of life dedicated to serving All Life and to stimulating progressive unfoldment toward manifesting personal ideals and values, or indeed, ‘better endings.’
Some of my own lessons gleaned from the PRACTICE of Teaching include:
Flexibility: This is the greatest tool I feel that a Teacher will demonstrate often. Whatever the lesson plan might be, you must meet the student aspirants where they are at. Every student and every class has their own character and begins at their own level based on their prior experience and goals. What worked once before with teaching a lesson or a topic might not fit the needs of the current student or class, so you must respond with a new approach, tailored to the interests and needs of the individual as well as the group. Generationally these needs change and develop over time, so as you continue to teach, you must become ever more flexible too.
Listening: Empathy is a strong Teacher trait that develops from the skill of listening closely to the questions—and attending to responses or actions—of your individual student. Why does a student choose their specific research topic; what is it they are hoping therefrom to learn or to discover? Why does a student resist a given lesson? Is their personal background experience leading them to assert a certain approach? How can you ALLOW that which the student is there to learn of their own character? You are in this sense but a willing servant the student has chosen tohelp them take their next steps in understanding, inspiration, or self-discipline. Reveal to them the tools they can use to take their own next step forward.
Goal-setting: Education is a progressive process of setting out to experience ever-new vistas and horizons. Whatever we learn fertilizes the grounds for further learning in a never-ending adventure. The Teacher helps the aspirant to establish their own aspirations and to attain realizations of their goals, of any form. Whether the Goal is one of DOing, KNOWing, or BEing, the Teacher serves as a positive example of one who shows there is always a Way to manifest worthy goals.
Creativity: Whatever the topic of study or art, the Teacher fosters creativity, not simply sterile methods or rote repetition of facts or ideas. Ultimately the Teacher must stand back to facilitate the student’s own inner Teacher potentials. For when the class is over and the student has graduated, the student must have gained their own capacity to proceed forth to successfully encounter new challenges and opportunities on their own. In fostering creative abilities in the student, the Teacher also shows their own willingness to learn; to encourage the student to become the Teacher, and so Life itself continues to unfold and adapt.
What have YOU learned from developing your own archetypal Teacher traits? How do you share this with others in your life? The outer Teacher—while genuinely someone who has developed the knowledge and skills you aim to comprehend and use—is also in a sense but a projection of your own inner Teacher potentials, so that learning is as standing before a Mirror to perceive and unfold your own inherent, latent qualities, especially when you seek to learn from a well advanced instructor or Guide.
images from pixabay.com
Authentic teaching/learning is self-tailored; the Teacher becomes a transparency through which you find your own Way. While this may seem to characterize especially those spiritual forms of Teacher you might aim to emulate, every Teacher is THE Teacher, the Teacher in YOU, too. And so the true TEACHER demonstrates detachment and humility, knowing in the end it is YOUR process you seek to advance, YOUR lessons that the Teacher is charged to help you to teach yourself in such manner as you can unfold the knowledge and the capacity to proceed forward on your own and share with others.
I welcome YOUR reflections and stories!