We often feel we are either a teacher or a student.
In my experience these roles are a paradox and reflect our tendency to think in polarities.
We think they are two separate terrains to navigate, but both roles are much the same and actually inform each other. Both roles are about learning and growth.
The paradox is the creative tension between teacher and student that allows the voice of each to be gathered and amplified.
Holding the tension between the student and teacher roles is also what deepens our level of learning. If we collaborate with what the tension is trying to do, it opens us up and expands our horizons.
We will not be able to be a great teacher unless we are a willing student. We cannot understand the benefits of being a student until we have taught something of value to another person. These roles are different versions of very similar skills. Both are necessary.
Escape Either-Or Thinking
It is time to stop seeing these roles as things that are this or that.
When we escape the grip of either-or thinking we nourish wholeness in our self and awaken our full potential. Whether we are comfortable with paradox or not, embracing both roles creates another level of knowing that allows us to think and learn together in more profound ways.
Reciprocal Teaching and Learning
We see these roles enacted at their best in mutual and reciprocal process of mentoring.
Effective mentoring involves not only the teacher finding the right student, but the student finding the right teacher as well. In this relationship, not only must the qualities of the mentor be revealed, but also the qualities of the student must be equally revealed.
This is what allows the full voice of each to be expressed and illuminated.
I invite you to experience the gifts of being both student and teacher.