For my colleagues as we launch the academic year—–
You are the only faithful student you have.
All the others leave eventually.
Have you been making yourself shallow with making others eminent?
Just remember, when you’re in union, you don’t have to fear that you’ll be drained.
The command comes to speak, and you feel the ocean moving through you.
Then comes, “Be Silent,” as when the rain stops,
And the trees in the orchard begin to draw moisture up into themselves.
Teaching is perceived as a ‘giving’profession involving a transmission of knowledge, from teacher to student. Give, give, give. There’s no better way to exhaust myself than to give, give, give. However, if I am the student and my student is a student, ah, there’s the chance for engaged learning, shared problem-solving, the asking of “What if?” instead of, “Let me tell you what I know.”
“All others leave eventually.” How true. If I am a skilled teacher my students leave sooner rather than later. Students are suppose to learn and leave. My first responsibility is to myself, not to my student. This responsibility to self is an essential component of how Alexander Technique teachers are trained. Teachers are required to tend to their own good use first and foremost.
Teaching is a balancing act, requiring the teacher to be the expert, the one who knows something the student might not, while meeting the student at a location of mutual exploration. A teacher can squeeze the life out of a lesson with the need to assert oneself and be in control. Teaching requires gently holding knowledge in one hand, and ‘I don’t know/let’s find out’ in the other.
The lesson is a partnership. Here’s to participating with curiosity and questioning! A rewarding academic year to all students and teachers recently returned to their hallowed halls—–