Once I have listen to an interview of a very significant professor with a lots of titles and distinctions here and abroad. He was asked which title makes him fell satisfied for all his effort. He said something like that: When I met old students of mine after many-many years and they call me Teacher. A student of mine once told me, “Teacher, I miss you a lot but at the same time I don’t miss you at all because you are always here”. When I’m given such a title, when I’m called Teacher I think, Hmm, maybe after all, I have done something in my life. I believe, this is the thing that make me keep going and trying harder”.
For me those are the “real” teachers. It has nothing to do with titles, distinctions, and acquired knowledge but with this special wisdom of one who helps the student to discover its own teacher somewhere inside. (grown up ????)
The teacher I’ll talk you about, claims he is ignorant and his ignorance make me to want him as my teacher. You may ask, what one can gain for an “ignorant teacher”. Maybe it looks like a contradiction but trust me, it isn’t. I always admire those people that like Socrates believe that the true wisdom is knowing you now nothing and he knows nothing, that’s why he keeps searching because the true knowledge comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us and he knows that.
He says that the qualities of a student are far more important than the qualities of the teacher. A great student, an exceptional one, will learn from everyone and everything.
Maybe he has his reasons for saying that but the view from here, from the student’s side is that a student to be great, need to be inspired from their teacher. To feel that they believe in their abilities, trust them, and that their goal is not to teach them but help them learn.
I could say more about teachers and student or teaching and learning but I won’t. I feel the more I say the more I go away from the real thing. I prefer to stick to my simple version. Teaching is an art and the teacher I’m talking about, is a real artist.
Photo by A Different Perspective