Without fail, life teaches through experience. Okay, I’m game. I’m a good student.
I just had no idea I would earn a doctorate degree in “Letting Go.”
As a teacher, coach, mentor, even channeling a little Yoda at times, I meet students of every shape and size…shape of expectation and size of goal that is. As their mentor, I too have goals and expectations. I don’t have a text book so I expect students to take meaningful notes. I don’t have a regimented lesson plan so it’s my goal to create a dynamic and nurturing environment. On that first day of class most sit wide-eyed and eager to hear what I have to share. They’re invested. They want it. They even sign an agreement committing to certain rules of the road…meeting deadlines, grading criteria, confidentiality of content. I agree to bring a 100% enriching and unique experience. They agree to be present, participate and perform.
Inevitably, there’s always that one student.
He shows up. He listens intently, or so he leads others to believe. He cracks jokes to charm the class. He poses a question or two to show he’s paying attention. All the while and under the desk his fingers peck away at distraction. He stays after class to chat up the teacher, asking deeper questions. He touts his dedication to his craft. He admits he’s got a lot going on and believes he’s the master multitasker…until…the deadline hits that is. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m not ready,” he says. Truth be told, he hasn’t done a lick of work.
I love to teach.
I WANT to teach.
And sometimes, I want to teach…a lesson.
He who asks, prods, eeks out the last drop of time and attention only to place fear in front of getting the real work done…get out of the way! There’s a line out the door of those who WANT to be in the classroom and you’re taking up a seat. I teach because I LOVE seeing students find their passion on the other side of fear. It’s not about discovering the next Mozart or coaching a future Baryshnikov, it’s about inspiring those who carry commitment in their actions, who practice the scales, rehearse the steps, who navigate their X-Wing to Dagobah and dare the cave.
In relationships we are both student AND teacher. As teacher, we devote time and attention to those who dare greatly. As student we do the work. When we can no longer sit comfortably in either chair, class is over.
Student crosses the threshold. Teacher lets him go.