As we are about to close a decade and open up a brand new one, I feel it is necessary to ask a few very important questions- at least to me. In this day of status updates, tweeting, posting, dming, facetiming and and instant communication, the likes of which were mere science fiction half a century ago, I am compelled to inquire, What has happened to teachers? And, perhaps, more importantly, what does the future hold for teachers? If any?
Obviously, teachers still exist, and they will continue to do so. They will not be erased from the scene once the clock strikes midnight on 2020. Obviously, schools still exist, but learning and diplomas have evolved to become something that are generally more important as a status symbol than anything else. As the pressure to achieve increases exponentially, so does the ability for someone to proclaim themselves master, teacher, “EXPERT,” and so much more without actually possessing experience, qualifications, or really anything other than the ability to say, “I am a master,” and have that show up in everyone’s feed instantaneously. The world of universal truth and individual truth and the relationship between the two is shifting.
All the emphasis on achievement for the student; the role the teacher plays in the reality we currently live in has an inverse correlation to this. As students strive to get the grades, the diploma, the external recognition- at all costs- teachers are disappearing, being paid less, experiencing budget cuts that render their job oftentimes impossible, and, in essence, are forced to take a backseat to the group collective ego of the masses’ desire to be successful.
Historically, teachers were revered. Across cultures, language, literacy, and mastery- of any kind- were all considered to be of immense value and not for masses. It was rare to be literate. In fact, it was rare to be excellent; one had to apprentice, train and study for a very long time to achieve mastery in a particular field. The role of the teacher commanded reverence, respect, and came shrouded in a mystery and secrecy- oftentimes interpreted as something mystical or even magical, which made the knowledge teachers possessed NOT available for everyone. Their knowledge was sacred, and as such, it was generally accepted that not everyone would hold that type of wisdom in their minds in their life time. Teachers were the people who bestowed access to the depths of wisdom made available in this world. These were the people who held keys to awaken the mind, spirit, and body.
Now: lots of people can read, if we want to know something, we look it up right away. In the social media age, anyone can be an expert. Anyone can become a master or a teacher. We have been given authority over our voice and identity in a way like never before, and now we have infinite platforms through which to share our expertise, our knowledge, our wisdom. Anyone can become famous, desired, powerful, and they do not need someone to show them how. It is no longer necessary to have a teacher- or even a location(a school) where you go to learn with others. Learning has reached a potential place of self-reliance that had rendered the traditional role of teacher, well… useless. Being a teacher is no longer the sacred role it once was.
There is a lot of emphasis on the projected image of self in this new decade we are about to commence; we have such a loud and growing external self: the self people like, comment on, and see/read, which causes them to react in various ways. The projected perception of self that people know is not our true selves, and often, there is a large disconnect between the “powerful” “awesome” and “social-media butterfly” self we send out into the world and the inner reality of self we actually experience for a variety of reasons.
So, do we actually even need teachers?
Yes. Yes, we do. But people don’t want a “teacher.” People have so much ancestral and personal trauma from teachers and schools, and the “market” is saturated with teachers that it is time to rebrand ourselves and reclaim our role as “influencers;” it is time for our role as teachers to get an “upgrade.”
A masterful teacher allows a student to encounter themselves frequently as they learn, to dig into the discomfort and sometimes the exhaustion that comes with mental physical exertion as connections are forged; teachers possess the ability to open up space for a student to know themselves, to have thoughts, to cultivate a practice in the yen for learning that is intoxicating, and the feeling of knowing in a visceral human way, what it feels like to succeed.
As people rely on teachers less and less as models for mental, philosophical and moral behavior, in their training of how to think, people come work with me so they can learn who they are, how they think about things, and how to implement who they are in their reality, so they can achieve the desired results, that gives them authentic access to their mastery.
If I can help someone do this once, I am humbled. When repetition of their growth in their lives becomes the norm for them, I am so grateful, because it means they are choosing to experience their surroundings in an insightful self-reflective and inquisitive way, so when life happens, they can make choices that are free from reaction, obligation and self-sabotage; they can make choices that improve our world.
So, teachers need an upgrade. A repurposing. Well, based on what I described a good teacher is above, perhaps teachers in the new decade can explore adopting a new title: “healer.”
Let’s break down this concept for a second. What do teachers actually do? Well, what do healers do?
Both facilitate learning (physical, emotional, intellectual, and often spiritual). Both facilitate growth, and both have the potential to give students access to awareness of themselves.
More and more clients come to work with me who are exceptionally powerful, intuitive, and amazing individuals. They don’t need help learning to manifest or create; they need help identifying how they best learn, so they can take their amazing ability to manifest in this instant-age we live in, and run with it.
As their teacher/healer, my role has grown more into creating space for clients and students to understand how they truly learn. In order to grow, we must learn. It is how our brain does it. IF we want to learn, we must grow. If we spend all our time projecting images of ourselves of a life we want to live, the muscles in charge of how to grow, learn, and take action, atrophy. It becomes now, the teachers’ job to help students understand how they learn, and subsequently, how they grow.
So, in the new decade, forget about times tables, and geography. The content matters less and less. Let us, as teachers, claim our true identity as healers and give our students access to how they learn; let’s give them the conscious ability to know how they grow.
So what will the next decade hold for teachers? Will they find themselves abandoning their traditional roles for a new-albeit ancient- role as healer?