Here is a final reflection from the school lessons – how much teaching there is all around the place.
Some of the students hadn’t really got the distinction between a Buddhist and a Buddha. This led to some interesting statements including:
Hey! I never knew there was a real life Buddha here in Cornwall.
How long have you been a Buddha?
and my favorite If I’m going to be anything, then I want to be a Buddha.
So, how to respond. Well, I could carefully try to point out the difference between a Buddha and the followers of the Buddha’s teachings; or I could use it as an opportunity to talk about how everything has the Buddha nature; or I could just enjoy the admittedly unintentional teaching. In fact I did a bit of all three and who knows if any of it made sense.
And it does seem as though there are times when teaching comes a bit like, found art. It doesn’t matter what the original intention was, words and phrases can resonate with something deeper and serve as a direct teaching to be cherished.
3 thoughts on “Teaching Is Everywhere”
What I really love about being a teacher is that you simply give the lesson and THEN it is amazing to see how that lesson is transformed by each person into their own learning. So many times I’ve had a student say to me what I taught them…sometimes it is not what I thought I was teaching, but it was exactly what they needed. It is such an interesting “space” this “teaching-being taught”! There is much more going on than we think, I think! :0)
I did some unexpected teaching of a group of 11yr olds just before the end of term for sustainability week. (I work in the construction industry as an engineering manager. We talked about renewable energy and I had no idea I was to do this until an hour before I had to stand in front of the class. I found it rewarding and realised that the whole thing just had to flow without expectation to let the class benefit. I can imagine how you felt, finding the feedback teaching.
I found these comments so right and so encouraging – thank you. I think that the phrase ‘without expectation’ is key to it all really. Being “without expectation’ seems to give space for the “much more going on than we think” to get going on.
I have a continuing deep admiration for teaching and teachers. One of the things I couldn’t get over was how much raw energy a class of 40 twelve year olds has got – after the lessons I had to come home and slowly descend to earth by doing some gardening.