Teaching/Learning/Letting go

July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

I subbed for one of my favorite teachers last week. I was terrified. I forgot or skipped over half of my (admittedly ambitious) opening topic – possibly rendering it confusing or maybe even meaningless. I couldn’t tell my left from my right. I paced. I needed help getting the music to work. I had trouble gauging how hard they were working and when to give them a breather. I told them how beautiful they were, which might have sounded trite, but I meant it with my whole heart – their effort, their receptivity…

The only real measure of how it went would be how the students felt about it. And I would love to know. And also, I’d rather not. Because deep down? I thought it went well. I have a voice and I used it. I embraced the fact that I would be imperfect and I threw my whole self into it. I clarified. I walked around the class while instructing, I used my body to understand and to help me explain clearly when needed. I made a joke. I took a student’s question and used it to show the whole class a sometimes challenging alignment technique, diverting from my plan and really teaching. It went well, at least in my head. And I’m not sure I could stand to have that shattered at this moment. I loved it. I was terrified. AND I loved it.

6 months ago, I didn’t plan to teach at all. Couldn’t even conceive of it. So I’m embracing this, holding it in. Everything that I have to work on, everything that needs practice (both the technical aspects and the ones that involve my own internal work). Writing it to process, writing to remember. And writing to get it out of my head and let it go. I don’t know if I will have an opportunity again, but when I do, it will be a whole new moment, a whole new situation. And I will go at it again with all I’ve been taught, all that I’ve learned, and all that I am. I see how the teaching is a practice. And I see how this applies to everything, my work, my life, my relationships. I see how it ALL is practice and I will throw my whole self into it.

I will be inevitably imperfect. Beautifully so.

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