When the Teacher Becomes the Student 當老師變成學生
Updated: Feb 25, 2019
🎵 Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start 🎵
Lately, one of my goals has been to try to carve out more time to do different kinds of exercise and join other instructors’ fitness classes. It’s a great chance for me to work out the areas of my body I’m not hitting with dance alone, but it’s also an opportunity for me to return to the role of being a student.
Now, just saying the word “student” can bring back a lot of anxiety. It conjures up all these childhood memories of pop quizzes, stress, and late nights listening to mix tapes instead of writing assignments (i.e. procrastination in the pre-social media era). It also reminds me of when, years later and after having taught English for a long while in Taiwan, I made the move to start studying Chinese. It was then that I realized that most of my fear surrounding being a student wasn’t actually about a final grade --although, I admit I occasionally obsessed over A’s-- but instead was about being a beginner at something. Going from the “expert” in the classroom to the one who makes a mistake every two minutes is a really humbling experience, and one that undoubtedly made me a better English teacher.
These past two months being back in other teachers’ classes, I have had many more chances to get it all wrong, to miss the right moves, to feel like I’m dying because everything hurts and I can barely catch my breath. But again, it's from this discomfort that I feel I can grow personally and become a better a teacher.
Trying something new and not being “good” at it right off the bat can be scary. And so, choosing to be a student or giving that thing you never tried before a whirl takes a lot of bravery. It means allowing yourself to display your weaknesses and to open yourself to criticism. To me, being a really great teacher means recognizing the vulnerability students are sharing with you and acting responsibly with the trust they put in you by doing so.
While everyone out there might not be an actual teacher by profession, we all have areas we are knowledgeable in which we can impart to others. There are even more infinite numbers of lessons to be learned from the people we encounter. Being brave enough to be taught and compassionate enough to teach can help everyone get ahead.
Thanks to the teachers, the students, and all those who have schooled me in life so far!
Keep moving! xx, Katie
讓我們從頭開始 ------ 一個開始的好地方