Wednesday, 1 June 2011

What Makes A Good Teacher?

"A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." ~Thomas Carruthers
"The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple." ~Amos Bronson Alcott
"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." ~Kahlil Gibran

When someone becomes a teacher of any topic (formal education, spirituality, sport...etc etc..) what makes a good teacher?

Some time ago I heard a quote along the lines of  "The real Master creates Masters not followers" (Osho). And this really had me thinking about what sort of person I wanted to be.

Something in me wants to share my experiences and possibly teach in some way. I am not sure of the way as yet, but I am certain of the person I do not want to be, and my recent letting go of outer teachers has confirmed this for me.

I followed many spiritual teachers in the past and the most recent was Abraham Hicks and all of the teachers of my past were very similar in the teachings they shared. Occasionally they would slip in the statement of trusting yourself, listening to your inner guide but most of them had some big event or big thing to reach for in life. I always felt like someone chasing a carrot dangling at the end of a stick. It wasn't until I came across Byron Katie and Mooji that I began to recognise how important it was to not only embrace what is in my life but to know that the answers always lie within.

Now I know many spiritual teachers espouse this, yet many of the institutions that evolve in the major spiritual followings are not encouraging us strongly enough to look within, as far as I can see.

When I followed the Crimson Circle, I loved the grandoise ideas and feeling part of a special group called "Shaumbra". It felt exclusive; my ego loved it.  But I let them go when nothing they said seemed to be having an affect in my life. The spiritual shifts coming, just kept coming... just around the corner.

And then I followed Abraham Hicks and initially the teachings to follow my emotional guidance system came in strongly and then the whole 'VORTEX' thing came about. Being an Aber I was on the 'leading edge of thought' as a Shaumbra I was in this unique group also.. with the Beacons of Light I was a lightworker... all of these spiritual teachers eventually led to creating more and more followers... more and more students.... NOT more and more Masters.

If they did create Masters, eventually the 'followers' would no longer need them. Fewer followers means less income and revenue. The inner circle of these groups do very well, thank you very much, with the outer circle dropping wads of cash into their pockets. But the outer circle may not be doing so well. Some may? I am just observing my own experiences and that of others who have dropped back from spiritual teachers recently.

Now all in all, I am glad to know this about spiritual teachers now. They are no longer on the pedestal I had them on for years (when I didn't believe in myself). But... what do we do if an inner calling calls us to possibly teach or share in some way? What if we want to create an income from sharing, speaking, writing, teaching? How do we do this and keep our morals and authentic nature intact? How do we teach without creating dependants?

Do we simply choose not to, and find other modes of living?

I don't know the answer right now. Perhaps there isn't one. I understand people choose how they experience teachers. It was perfect for me to be a follower for many years and now it is perfect that I am my own guide. I guess there will always be leaders and followers, much like employers and employees. Can this truly change in the teaching profession?

I welcome your thoughts on this subject.

Related quotes:


A leader is best when the people are hardly aware of his existence,

Not so good when people stand in fear,

Worse, when people are contemptuous.
          Fail to honour people, and they will fail to honour you.
         
          But a good leader who speaks little,
          When his task is accomplished, his work done,
The people say “We did it ourselves.”

Lao Tzu




Don't try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed. ~Marva Collins




"Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis




"The greatest sign of a success for a teacher...is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist." -- Maria Montessori

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