The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Source Of Inspiration

A teacher I know has been losing some of her students, who claim she isn’t inspiring enough. When I heard this, I wondered just how personally a teacher should take such a situation. So I asked around and got some interesting answers.

One teacher opined that it isn’t just the teacher who has to inspire the student but student who also has to inspire the teacher. I was intrigued by this concept. I always believed that the onus is on the teacher to ensure the students can absorb what s/he is teaching them. So I asked this teacher to elaborate.

“If you’re constantly making the same corrections to a student class after class, you’ll be uninspired to teach them, because they don’t have the awareness to absorb what you’re imparting,” he explained.

However, another teacher said, “Every student has a different way of learning. A teacher has to find out what that way is and tap into it. Of course, this can be challenging in a classroom, but you have to care enough about your students to make that effort.”

I agree with the latter. After all, patience is a teacher's greatest virtue! And since teaching is a teacher's vocation, a teacher has to explore every possible teaching method instead of dismissing a student as a 'lost cause'. I also believe that sometimes a student just doesn't connect with the teacher, that their energies aren’t in sync. In this case, the teacher could be as inspiring as Ghandi and it would still do nothing for the student. Then the teacher would have to gracefully let go and allow the student to seek out another teacher who may work the desired wonders.

But what do you think? Is inspiration between student and teacher a one or two-way street?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie, John Scott was asked the question what makes a good teacher? He answered "Patience". You could be telling a student the same thing 1 day, 1 week , 1 year, 10 years before he/she "gets" it. As a teacher, you must have the patience to understand that he/she will get it one day. I think it takes a lot of love and compassion to be that patient.BTW, I forgot my password, so that's why I'm signed under anon. But it's me, yogamama.

5:46 AM  
Blogger starlight said...

thank you yogamama for confirming what i believe. i think it's a very sad day indeed when a teacher blames his/her students for an uninspiring class.

5:46 AM  

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