The dictionary would define a teacher as someone who instructs, provides training regarding defined subjects such as math, reading, writing, science, history, and extended studies. Teachers teach. Is that all there is to being a teacher? No.
What does it take to be a teacher? This has become a subject of research. One book that has been invaluable to me is the Course in Miracles. The last section of the manual is the Teacher’s Manual. Within these pages are the guidance and wisdom one may choose to follow in becoming the best teacher in the world.
Teachers teach that which they need to learn. Teachers are students. Students are teachers.
This former cannot happen when one is closed to learning, believes he or she has learned all there is and refuses to open to new experiences. Though it can become comfortable where one decides to rest.
The Teacher’s Manual explains that everyone is a teacher when he or she decides to become one. This is God’s appointment to each person. Yet, I believe that one may teach without realizing it. When it is considered as Kahlil Gibran has pointed out, we may learn tolerance from intolerance, patience from impatience, love from hate, and learn what we do not want through observation of those around.
Teachers who follow the path of the Divine, who choose to become teachers of God hold qualities that are shared openly and easily through exchange. These are trust, honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, generosity, defenselessness, faithfulness, patience, and open-mindedness. Above all these are born from love, without love nothing else exists.
The first rule in my life is no one must trust, believe, respect, or be honest with me. This is not your job. It is my job to hold these qualities, share in these characteristics. Through time, exchange of ideas, discussion, one will grow to trust, respect, believe, and choose to be honest with me. It is the natural progression of life. The exchange keeps love alive and well. Because all relationships are an exchange of qualities that are born of love.
Teachers learn from their students, as students become the teacher. To be a teacher is to sit in a desired and fearful position. A teacher holds the life of another, the information spoken and shown effect the other person. This cannot be avoided.
As a spiritual teacher the rules are simple, honesty, trust, gentleness, compassion, and love are provided to the student. There is no subject that is taboo, no topic avoided, no idea rejected. As a spiritual teacher, the guidance and information provided is for the student.
The spiritual teacher is not Divine, but human, walking the path laid before filled with the same obstacles and challenges of anyone. Some variation occurs in the type of event, but the same skills are required to traverse this human life.
Blessings and peace be with you.