We Are All Teachers
I mean, aren't we? For some of us, it is a learned skill. For most of us, however, it is a skill that comes naturally. We are human. we want to help others. We want to see each other grow. Especially in a field or topic we are good at or care smooch about ourselves.
My Sensei, to this day, always asks us, "How many teachers are in this room?" to which most of the students count the Sensei and the leadership and respond with the corresponding number. When this happens, without hesitation, my Sensei would answer "wrong". The students would then look around and see if there were any students that were part of our leadership team but were participating in class instead. They would then answer with another number to which my Sensei would again say, "wrong." At this point the students give up and would wait for him to continue talking.
I have carried on this tradition with my students today and I get the exact same responses from them. So, how many teachers are in the room? The correct answer is however many bodies are in that room at that time, whether student or Sensei or leadership.
It is interesting to see all the different ways that students become teachers. Some of them know they are helping, they will go out of their way to point something out or they will look for the lower belt in class to help them out. Some students notice other students watching while they try to figure out how to do something, and those students will be the ones that slow down so others can watch but they won't make it aware they they see you watching them. And some students teach unwillingly. I know, "but how do you teach without knowing you're teaching?"
There are 2 main ways this happens. #1 - students give it their all every class. They watch the moves, they pay attention to details, they perform their katas full out, they push to better themselves. By doing these things, they are gaining the attention of other students, students who look up to them and say to themselves "I want to be just like them". #2 is much simpler but still effective. These are the curious students. The students who ask all the questions. The "which hand/foot moves?" The "am i turning the right way?" The "what is the used for?" The "but why?" By asking questions, one of two things happens. One: other students over hear the answers to questions they may have been too afraid to ask themselves or Two: Sensei stops the class to explain the answer to everyone.
Yet, there are some people out there that still have egos. People that won't help others because they want to stay ahead or get ahead. These people are the people that still manage to make me wonder "why not just help?" and that is perhaps because I see things a little different than the average person. Let me explain.
Lets say you have an orange belt and a green belt. Typically orange is below green. So the orange belt student walks up to the green belt in class and asks him for some help. Now, unless the green belt student honestly does not know or cannot remember, I would expect nothing less than this green belt to help his fellow student. Why? Let's say this green belt helps this orange belt. The orange belt than achieves his green belt followed by his brown belt, BUT the first green belt student is having trouble achieving his brown belt.
That first orange belt student is now able to help the first green belt student in class and help him achieve his brown belt as well. To me, it is all a cycle. Karma, if you will. Good karma. Everyone should be out to help everyone because you never know when the day will come where you are the one who needs help.