Teachers & Students

white teacher with navajo students“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” ~ Khalil Gibran

My stepdaughter is disappointed about the teacher she has for her course this semester. I don’t like her, she said, She didn’t teach us anything last time I had her. I taught myself everything from the book. I am sorry she isn’t happy with her teacher but I keep thinking wow, what was an extraordinary thing to learn.

“Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?” ~ Walt Whitman

My yoga teacher told us about one of her teachers who yelled at them in class and was generally nasty while holding them in difficult postures. Why in the world did you stay with a teacher who treated you like that? I asked. She stopped and got serious. Oh my gosh, she said, I learned so much from her. It’s where I found the serenity in my practice.

Teaching and learning are happening all the time whether we realize it or not. But we often think about teaching and learning narrowly: the teacher is up there teaching and the students are out there learning.

teachers & students 1

Sometimes teachers will say things like I learn so much from my students! Making the exchange of teaching and learning look something like this:

teachers & students 2

But that’s not quite accurate either. Here’s what’s actually happening all the time. Everybody, whether they know it or not is both teaching and learning from everybody else. So it actually looks more like this:

teachers & students 3


We’re all teachers. We’re all students.
We teach by the choices we make. We learn by the perspective we take.
What do you want to teach? What do you want to learn?
When I am clear on this, I know how to live.

Whatever it is, remember this little mind-blowing nugget of brilliance from Momastery blogger, Glennon Doyle Melton:

“You do not teach by teaching – you teach by loving.”

Imagine standing in this room

//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.jsteachers & students 3

if all those colored lines, were lines of love.

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