Writings

Teaching


I never in my life thought I was going to be a teacher. I had great respect for my school teachers as a kid, but to me their job looked so difficult, how could they memorize all that fact and knowledge, how could they be so confident in being the centre of attention up there, handling students and all their questions, to me it looked nervewrecking and it was a profession I was pretty sure I was never going to have.
Teaching
When I started dancing more seriously, the role of the teacher became more complex, like I have described before, I didn't exactly like many of them and the consensus amongst us dance students was, 'Those that can't do, teach', meaning that teachers were dancers that never made it, and as a young aspiring artist I dreaded that I would ever have to assume that role. So it's simultaneously interesting and ironic that I have ended up being a yoga teacher.
I have grown in to it, teaching. It didn't come natural to me. I got a few years of training when teaching dance, but it was fairly easy. I only taught professionals or nearly professionals and the body of knowledge they already had when stepping in to my class, made my job pretty easy. It wasn't until I started teaching yoga that I truly had to question and experiment with what being a teacher meant to me and how I could embody the responsibility of it.

Teaching can be sharing knowledge, it can be sharing wisdom, it can be being the instigator or provider of a certain experience that you feel would enhance your students understanding of the subject, but maybe most importantly, teaching is sharing your heart and your love with your students. The love I feel for what I'm teaching and the compassion I develop for those I teach is the key ingredient that makes it such a rich experience. In the beginning it was intimidating so I clung to words that weren't yet mine and adopted methods from other teachers and books that felt that they were better than anything I could come up with, but then I started to develop a sense of kinship with my students. I was after all experiencing the same human dilemma that they were, and the only reasonable thing for me to do would be to connect with that part of my pain and teach them as I would myself. So eventually I found my voice and my ways, my words and interpretations and I can now rest confidently in just being me. I still bring anything I come across that I find interesting to class, and I keep using the wise methods and language of old that feels useful for what I want to share, but my main objective is to explore what teaching from love feels like and how it resonates with my students.

It's not always easy, there are a number of both physical and emotional components that makes this a challenging hat to wear, but it's always rewarding. At the end of every class I teach I come out feeling better, more open than when I went in. I guess I come out with a sense of having made my small contribution to what I believe to be the truth and meaning of this life, so it feels like an act of love.

The call of the teacher is to grow and keep investigating that which they teach and since my subject and is the never ending exploration of compassion, I consider myself very fortunate for this surprising turn of events that me being a teacher, is.

 

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