My health is still in recovery, but it is slow and cannot be rushed. No matter how much I want to. It has also been the reason for blogging absence. Hopefully, corners have been turned and I can resume my plans for this space.
I made it through a semester of university and I have recently been to a retreat where I was taught new skills. Both of these events though topically are very different have a common denominator, a person at the front of the room (or other end of the screen) guiding, sharing and facilitating my quest for knowledge.
They can and do go by many names, teacher, lecturer, facilitator, guru, mentor, and guide. The thing with teachers is many of us view them as Pedestal Material. They shouldn’t be questioned, or as some teachers perceive, they shouldn’t be questioned. Some areas, the traditions and different words used to help formalise the process. Other times, it is the teacher or guide who defines themselves.
It saddens me when I read or hear of things where teachers are viewed or must insist on being viewed in a way that they *must* be viewed as the only voice and expert about the topic at hand. I have been both a primary (elementary) school and TAFE teacher (adult education in many forms) and never took the stance that I knew it all. We can’t. It’s impossible. I may have known more than my students on the various subjects I was teaching, and I have received training (a lot actually) about how to facilitate learning but I also knew every one of my students had their own input to the process. Besides, learning happens best when it is a two way street.
If you need to use a term to assert your power over someone, a bit of your message of spreading knowledge is lost. Not only that, but think of the term more broadly and teachers are everywhere in your life. Your very first ones were those there to help you learn to eat, to sit up, change your clothes, catch a bus, all before you even reach the traditional view of a teacher in a kindergarten or school setting of some kind.
Then once the school part of your life is over, (though in my case, it never seems done), teachers appear in your life in many forms. Not always with the word “teacher” attached to it. They are the people who will mentor you in areas of either professional or personal interests and they will be the ones that sometimes, come to you when you least expect it. The cool thing is you are also a teacher for others. It happens. More than you may sometimes realise.