Part of my own personal philosophy is we carry the energy of both “student” and “teacher” within us. Depending upon the experience or situation we find ourselves in, one of these two energies becomes primary. We invoke our inner teacher when the need to pass along our knowledge, wisdom or gold nugget to another. When it is our time to listen, learn and embrace new information, our student self steps forward.
One question yearning for an answer is “What is my teaching philosophy?” Not sure? A great place to begin is to honestly acknowledge you have something of worth to pass along to another. Then begin to remind yourself of all the amazing ideas and experiences you have collected throughout your life while bringing in a perspective of a teacher. Begin to ask yourself what type of student might need to learn what I have to offer?
In the ‘normal’ teaching profession there hundreds of teachers working together, in an environment that has a single focus of seeking to succeed in passing along the basic foundational knowledge to a younger generation. But our inner teacher is not always going to be surrounded by others who support our perspective or our approach to teaching. Your confidence in delivery and expression is what your students will remember but the success of your student is not dependent upon your delivery or depth of knowledge but on their willingness to hear what it is you are sharing and delivering. This simple fact describes the essence behind all teaching no matter what the venue.
Thoughts on What
When you embrace your teacher side, you will begin to compile your very own “Educational Philosophy”. In the normal academic world, an educational philosophy is a paper that guides you throughout of your teaching career; so how does this transfer to a personal educational philosophy? You can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you see as your basic purpose in educating?
- What, generally, is the role of your inner teacher in your life?
- What are your goals in sharing your wisdom/knowledge?
- What qualities do you have that support your inner teacher?
- What do you as a teacher owe your potential students?
Your educational philosophy can guide you as you move through life. One key to tap into your inner teacher is remembering that invoking a teaching moment is not one of consciousness. But comes from your heart and happens without effort. For me, my inner teacher awakens as easily as my inner student. This has taken work, a conscious effort to shift my perspective continuously from teacher to student and back again.
Challenges and Trust
There are times when it is hard to discern which role is truly primary. It comes down to trust for me. I trust that if I am experiencing a situation to learn. Then the lesson will be brought forward at the right time which I am open to receiving the lesson. If I am in the moment to teach, the knowledge I am to pass along will flow freely from me. And the student is already present and that they are open to receiving my gift of knowledge.
Rediscovering or recovering your inner teacher is a journey which never ends as our students will continuously present themselves. Remember self trust and honesty are the two key ingredients to allowing your students to appear. You just maybe surprised at the depth and breadth of your inner wisdom that is to be shared and passed along.