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A Good Teacher

Bad teachers use punishment. They shout, they overload their students, they humiliate and shame students who don’t thrive under their ineffective teaching. Been there, done that, failed.

I recently worked with a good teacher. She had spent her career teaching and honing her skills. She understood that teaching is a process of engaging natural curiosity. This can include eliminating distractions, and nurturing commitments. It doesn’t include rigid control or blaming students.

She treated her students marvelously well, but she was rather mean to herself. She pushed her body, blamed her genes, her attitudes, her skills, and generally punished herself for hurting. The result was more pain, and a terrifying belief that things were getting worse without hope of change.

My job was to get this most excellent teacher to apply her skills to her self, starting with her own body. I wanted her to learn to teach herself how to live comfortably. We agreed that she could take the skills she spent decades developing and apply them to herself.

Good learning environments have emotional safety, useful guidelines, supportive and engaging tools. Good learning relationships are about curiosity, play, challenge, excitement, development, and the pleasure of learning for its own sake.

These same rules apply to learning self-care. Our bodies are not exempt from the rules of physics, and our own minds are not exempt from the rules of learning. How well do you teach your self?

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March 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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