Sunday, January 27, 2008

three roots and teacher roles

Teachers perform a number of functions. For now, I'll focus on three. 

One is to provide transmission, a source of energy for the student. For this, one doesn't need regular contact or interaction. It can be a one-time meeting. The energy may come through inspiration, through resonance, through interaction, or through devotion. In the last, the teacher is a symbol of being awake, on which the student draws. All this helps build capacity.

A second role is training in specific techniques and perspectives. For this, regular interaction is highly desirable, and quite necessary for some forms of training. In order to guide the student, the teacher needs to see and hear what the student is doing and how the skills are developing. This has to do with skill-development, know-how.

The third role is to bring to the student an awareness of the internal material that is getting in the way of the student. The degree of interaction needed here depends on the student capabilities. This often involves addressing willingness in the student.