I received this heart-warming message by one of my yoga students who is now a yoga teacher and it prompted me to think of the role of the teacher…
One of the greatest compliments you can get as a teacher is seeing your own students succeed and even excel you.
In my teaching vocation, I have had past students come up to me and tell me how much I influenced their lives and how I instilled in them a love of learning that they didn’t have before.
It has been the most heart-warming experience to have had now 25 year old young adults tell me that I influenced them to become a teacher themselves or to follow their dreams.
My first year of teaching was a Grade 5 class. Looking back, I have no idea if I taught them a single thing! I worked my hardest in the first couple of years out of university and being young and inexperienced, I can see so many things I would now do differently.
However, if I asked my students what it was that made a difference to their lives when I taught them, they recall that I made learning fun, interesting and was able to explain things to them in a way they understood. They recall that I was a happy person who spoke to them on their level.
None of them mention the content of what I taught…. But rather the overall experience of how I taught and how I made them feel.
If you recall your own teachers, what is it about them that stands out to you as being good or not so good teachers?
What made a teacher memorable for you?
Perhaps it was their ability to connect with you in some way so that you could achieve these “light-bulb” moments in your learning?
Or was it their sense of humour?
Their ability to tell stories that captured you and helped you engage better in the learning experience?
Regardless of the content or field you are instructing people in – the purpose of teaching is not about delivering content – but rather it is to help people see more clearly, to awaken them, to unveil a sheath of ignorance…
to bring them to a place that is new, different, more enlightened….
To bring them to a new level of understanding of themselves and the world that they didn’t have before.
A teacher is not jealous of her students. But rather she desires to see her students excel beyond her own achievements and capabilities. The greatest gift a teacher can give her students is seeing their gifts and encouraging them to achieve beyond what they could imagine for themselves.
In my yoga teaching experience over the last 10 years, I have students of mine who are now yoga teachers or training to become teachers. It is the greatest gift for me to see these students shine and pass on the teachings of yoga that I was fortunate enough to have received by my teachers.
I am forever grateful for my amazing teachers because I know it has influenced and shaped me as a teacher (and a student) of yoga and of life.
We are all teachers. Every single one of us.
How do you help others around you better understand themselves as they walk on this road with you as a student of life?