Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Importance of Knowing Your Limitations...Part 1?

Whether this will be a multi-part entry or not is uncertain, what is certain is the importance of it's message. I sit here finishing up an article concerning teaching yoga and some things it calls upon you to consider and I find myself reading some wonderful quotes that any teacher in any field can benefit from:

"But teaching is a tapas—a fire that burns away impurities. It can burn away your impurities, particularly in the realm of relationships with others. You can no longer remain blind to how your attitudes prevent openness and trust. You learn to see, care for, and appreciate your students as individuals with struggles and questions not unlike your own. Teaching can help you become a better person."

As a teacher I deal with communicating healing as well as working with occult practices, such as Tarot, Astrology, and Numerology. In teaching I agree very heartily that it takes all kinds, but as much as it does, it takes a certain kind. A good teacher listens as much, if not more than, they speak. They know as much how to read between the lines and to effectively direct students as they do to note subtle cues in tone, mannerisms, and body language.

When I teach I try my best to be thorough, to anticipate the questions and to as fully and capably explain things before questions are dealt with in order to minimize them. But teaching is about communication, interaction, and how you do this is as important as how you choose to teach. Being flexible is key, knowing your limitations is also key. You may prefer to work with a particular group, you may have issues working with another. While it's always your prerogative to teach as you will to whom you will, analyzing these pitfalls and shortcomings is a learning experience necessary to become an even better instructor.

It's okay to have trouble, and it's even more okay to share those troubles with your students. Showing that you too are human and make mistakes will often make others feel at ease. Many teachers may feel that they need to live up to a certain "high and mighty" ideal. That they should be the perfect embodiment of what they are teaching or what their knowledge displays. But as is said, "the very wise know they know nothing". In regards to teaching meditative topics, healing, and certain metaphysical subjects it is imperative that you continue your own self study in the process. You should get something from your students and your teaching of them, just as they (apart from the knowledge you are trying to disseminate) should get something from learning with you.

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