I have come to the conclusion that:
Teaching is about helping people come to their own conclusions.
“Teacher’s open the door, but you must enter by yourself,”
This seams to put the power in the hands of the students. How can you teach someone that is unwilling to learn? But then as a teacher/director/parent sometimes you have to persevere and keep trying if you really care about your student/actor/child and want them to learn. That said, there is a fine line between being an unbiased teacher and indoctrinating your students. I think that you have to lead people in the right direction but ultimately you have to let them figure it out for themselves. There are a few ways to do this but I think the most effective are as follows.
Asking Questions: When you word things open endedly you leave room for people to think about them and respond. I think this is especially relevant in advice-type situations or when you are trying to help someone with something. For example, I can tell you what to do or I can ask you what you think you should do…
Leading by Example: This is very important. When you are trying to shape people and help them grow modeling proper behavior is essential. For example, I have a friend who is a bit younger that I am trying to instill more kindness in. I could lecture this friend about manners and compassion but that would not have much lasting impact, in fact they may just get annoyed with me. I think instead I am going to try to be especially kind and polite towards this person (despite how rude they may act towards me). Then maybe they will say way in which they can reach out to others through my example.
Personally, i’ve come to a point in life where I can recognize the lessons others have tried to teach me in the past. I had to figure most of the things out by myself in order for them to have any relevance in my life. It’s really to bad in some respects, if I had just listened to these people then I could of begun living a life as fulfilling as the one I have now much sooner. Sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination though.
“Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”
– Miley Cyrus, The Climb
I really like mentoring and helping others but I am still having trouble finding the best way to do that. Perhaps balance is the key.
What do you think? How do you “learn your lessons well”?