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Wait, you say.  Can it be that teacherken is confused about the ancient Buddhist proverb?

Trust me, I know the original is "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

The inversion is deliberate.

Because it tells us something about the nature of teaching.

Teaching is not peeling back the skull of a child and pouring in information.

It is relational.

It requires the teacher to understand the student, so that the lesson speaks to the student where s/he is.

Which is why first the teacher has to be ready.  

When the teacher acknowledges the reality of the student, then the dialog, then the relation of co-learning, can begin.

Then the student will listen.

As a teacher I cannot make a student learn.

I can invite, I can provoke, I can challenge.

Unless I am ready, by being present for that student, why should I expect the student to pay attention, to want to take advantage of what I can offer?  If s/he does when I am not ready, then s/he is more ready to be a learner than I am prepared to be a teacher.

When the teacher is ready . . .

. . .which means when I am open to the reality of the world and the perspective of my student(s)   . . .

Just a thought from someone still learning what it means to be a teacher.


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