I am a T'ai-Chi Teacher and Singer/Songwriter living in Ashland, OR. Please visit my site: www.GeneBurnett.com for more info about my teaching and music. At my site I have over 20 albums of songs available for downloading free or with a donation. This blog is dedicated to musings about what I like to call "The Unforced Life".
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thank Your Teachers
It's The Least You Can Do...
If you are good at anything, or know how to do anything well enough to really enjoy it, chances are you had a teacher or teachers who helped you learn. If you are happy with what you know and are putting it to good use, please remember the people who taught you when you didn't know anything. Do your teachers a favor and thank them.
Thank them in private, but also thank them publicly. Thank them in private, because it is one of the nicer rewards teachers get and it will usually mean a lot to them. And thank them publicly, not so they can share in your glory, if teachers cared about glory they wouldn't be teachers, thank them publicly to help them get more students and therefore more money.They may do it for love, but they need money in order to do it for love.
So acknowledge them and steer students their way by singing their praises. And do it wholeheartedly. Halting or faint praise is worse than saying nothing. Say it clearly, often and regularly. On line, in person, on the mike.
Here's an example:
If you're interested in Internal Martial Arts, T'ai-Chi, Chi Kung, BaGua, and Hsing-I and you're anywhere near Seattle, WA, check out Andy Dale's club. Even if you can't formally study with Andy, even if you can just observe a class, it is worth it just to watch him move. He was my main teacher for 13 years and gave me my fundamental education in T'ai-Chi Chuan. I will never be able to repay my debt to him. He is an incredible artist and a generous, patient and extremely knowledgable teacher. Check him out!
See? It's actually pretty easy. You'd be amazed how rarely it happens in life. Sometimes students are in some kind of subtle or not so subtle competition with their teachers. Sometimes they are so preoccupied with their own personal dramas that they forget they even had teachers. Or they assume that teachers just know that their students appreciate them. So don't forget to thank the teachers who made a difference for you and don't forget to do it publicly. Let go of whatever push-pull you have going on with them and just do it.
OK, now, having said that, I would say this too. Do it if it feels right. Don't force it. Find a place of genuine gratitude and express that. You're teachers will be grateful and I bet you'll feel better too.