Sunday, 6 February 2011

To Be a Teacer

In Search of a Teacher of Spirit: Eleven Conscious Considerations

Any of us are on an inward or outward path--to Enlightenment, to our Higher Selves, to our eternal connection with Source. We are called to this for reasons only the individual can describe, or more often, just know, and in the course of this Path, we often connect with other like minded (Light minded?) beings. And because we all have chosen specific areas of Service, we alternate roles of healer, teacher, guide and leader. We each can offer Service to others, often by our presence and energetic state. Sometimes, we may be drawn or called to provide Illumination through insights we have received on our personal journey, or in CoCreation with nonphysical Beings of Light, or aspects of Spirit. All are valid and vital aspects of our experiencing and expressing ourselves as Source.
The "teacher" and the "student" offer each other great gifts of Spirit, and Lessons beyond what is recognizable in physical manifestation. For the purpose of this offering, I refer to those beings recognized as, or offering structured format or experience, as spiritual teachers. While many are called to be spiritual teachers, a Teacher of Spirit is a powerful Illuminating Force. We "know them when we se(ns)e them", and more importantly, by the virtue of their Service, our lives change, and we GROW into our fullest spiritual potential.
On occasion, the lessons meant to be learned together manifest quickly, and each must move on to continue learning. This moving on can be difficult, for we have attached to the teacher. For some, this teacher-student experience may have been our clearest and closest encounter with our Divinity, with our Source. To leave this experience behind is unthinkable, and yet...something has changed, we have changed, the lesson has been learned, and the relationship no longer serves us. What then do we do?
Following are questions to ask yourself when considering entering, and during the course of, this very special relationship. Remember that you are also teaching and providing lessons, and that your contribution is significant. Know also that growth can be challenging, and painful for those who choose this pattern of education. Keep in mind that we have chosen to learn together as Spirit Incarnate, with compassion for all who engage in this Experience. While we strive for perfection, our learning continues. There are so many spiritual teachers because there are so many learners; the Path must always challenge and illuminate, and we may have agreed to connect with many in the energetic flow of Light. As you review these questions, consider what is best for you, at this Perfect Timing. Know that you are choosing well in each moment for your highest Purpose.
1. Do you resonate with the teacher and/or teachings?
That is, do you find something within you that harmonizes with the teacher's energy or message? This often occurs at first connection, whether someone tells you or you happen upon an upcoming class, or website, or book, or the person, and you think, "Hmmm that sounds like it's for me, or I need to do this". Often this feeling statement is preceded with "I don't know why, but..."
Y A Teacher of Spirit's energy may often be discerned without any form of physical or visual contact. At times just the thought or introduction of the thought of the Teacher initiates this resonation, which may be intense or extremely subtle.
2. Are all students--including you--treated with great respect and compassion?
You are entering into a sacred trust, individually and collectively.
Y A Teacher of Spirit enters every encounter of this type--no matter how brief--with respect for the individual and the commitment each has made. This respect is demonstrated whether or not another individual is present; any discussion of students (former included) with anyone is respectful and uplifting. This holds true regardless of personal issues or disagreements.
3. Do you find the teacher humble?
This is not excessive self-deprecation or an obvious lack of self-worth. This is the ability to be clear in message, and not be affected by, or attached to, the Brilliance of the Light or any form of the message being delivered.
Y The Teacher of Spirit speaks in Truth, valuing each encounter, and one feels more valued, not less, to be in such a presence.
4. Are other spiritual teachers and Paths regarded with respect?
Many divergent Paths and belief systems exist, and all are part of the Expression of Source. It is not necessary to believe, and not humanly possible, to participate in all Expressions of teaching, faith, or other belief systems. As each is part of the All That Is; however, all are worthy of respect--even if comprehension is missing. Needing to "always be right" is a pattern not found in the Teacher of Spirit.
Y The Teacher of Spirit may be unfamiliar with some Paths, does not resonate with others, and may state this freely. The Teacher of Spirit often offers the observation that the Many lead to the One, and chooses to respectfully refrain from judgment.
5. Is the energy exchange balanced, or does money seem to outweigh the mission?
This is a Universe of energy exchange, and quite obviously we use the currency of money for most of our exchanges. Many are guided in the amounts that are fair exchanges, which may be regarded as too little or exorbitant depending upon another's attachment to money, or lack of funds. This is individual, and all responses usually occur in a cross section of potential students, so this is not an indicator of an imbalanced energy exchange. At times, "zero sum thinking" is demonstrated by spiritual workers, with the feeling that there is "only so much of the pie to go around", so there may be great demonstrated need to get what is thought to be enough. Consider if there is a preponderance of talk on money and the teacher's need, the lack of it, any feelings of energetic "stickiness". Is the energy exchange complete with one encounter, or is the student required or strongly advised to agree to ongoing individual sessions or classes for any particular rationale? It is understood that many teachings are built on foundational lessons, and there are constant upgrades to knowledge; you in this experience as student may consider your current state and path and how the next steps of the teacher fit your next steps. Many student/teacher paths last a lifetime, and often many lifetimes, with the roles experienced by each participant. Be open to this!
Other energetic considerations:
Does the teaching or other products or services feel "doled out", not freely offered and exchanged? There must be a positive flow of energy in both directions, and you can sense the impact this attachment and fear can have on your experience just by an uneasiness or other manifested feeling. Check in with your inner knowing for guidance.
Y A Teacher of Spirit is clear and without emotional attachment in setting and communicating energy exchanges.
6. Do you feel you are participating in an inclusive gathering, if attending classes?
All teachers are human, and optimally will have friends they may interact with, sometimes during the course of a class. And being human, we enjoy what is familiar. A teacher may prefer to commune with smaller groups within the group. In large gatherings, it may be difficult to engage in discussion with the teacher. In any gathering however, one should never feel "less than" any other participant.
Y Any encounter with the Teacher of Spirit is positive and affirming.
7. Do you have a sense of the teacher's integrity?
Do the teachings ring true? This does not mean that they are everyone's truth, but can you discern the teacher's commitment to the teaching and the process? Do the teacher's actions hold the truth of the words? For example, if the teachings are of compassion and Light, one would expect these attributes to be manifested in the teacher. Again, we are all human, but the teacher's actions should be reasonably (more so than not) congruent with the teachings. This of course recognizes the fact that teachers are also learning the lessons they provide and articulate.
Y A Teacher of Spirit demonstrates integrity through consistent congruence.
8. Is the teacher truly present with you--is the focus on the student or on the teacher?
Again, every teacher is human, with concerns, physical, emotional, and spiritual, and may be distracted from time to time, and yet--the student and the teaching must take precedence. Also, being human, the attention and focus received as a result of stepping forward into the teacher's role can have a variety of internal and external effects, including a type of celebrity status (both "mini" and "major"). This ability to be present parallels with and is congruent with the teacher's humility.
Y A Teacher of Spirit recognizes that the center of all teaching is the student, and is complete with contributing to this Divine Purpose, recognizing the reward in this great spiritual gift of Service.
9. Are the teachings accessible to you?
Or so you find them so esoteric you are left to wonder? An unfoldment of information, of Technology of Spirit is often accompanied by feelings of wonder and the need for contemplation. Comprehension is individual, and this is not a reflection of ability or inability for teacher or student. It simply addresses your understanding of the teachings, and your assimilation of the new information. A feeling of overwhelm due to lack of immediate memorization or "knowing" is not expected to accompany your perfect teaching. Many revelations are often discovered in days, weeks, and even years after the teaching, so it should not be expected that all be revealed immediately. Spirit works in concert with your Highest Self so that you may open to expansion in your Perfect Timing.
Y A Teacher of Spirit encourages questions and offers insights. If the teaching must be worked with by the student (and virtually all teaching is), the Teacher offers the recognition that all is received and understood on an energetic level, and may offer approaches to bring this information into physical understanding when appropriate.
10. Do you find yourself wondering if you are worthy to attend or participate?
This is no reflection on the teacher, unless there are overt or subtle indications that tell you are not worthy to participate. Ask yourself why you would still want to engage in any activity in which you are not considered an equal, and trust your inner knowing There is a universe of difference between readiness and worthiness, and this topic will be addressed in a future article.
Y A Teacher of Spirit does not consider issues of worthiness, for all are worthy. This is a fundamental (which does not need to be spoken) principle of Spirit.
11. And finally, when in the presence of this Teacher, this Fellow Master, do you feel that you are being treated as Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus or Sananda, or any expression of MotherFather God would treat you?
Y A Teacher of Spirit holds the energy of inclusive love, respect, honor, and acceptance, without emotional attachment or reward expectation. Loving kindness and compassion are experienced in every encounter. This is the greatest Service of the Teacher of Spirit, to offer the experience of connecting with, and embracing, our Divinity and our Source. The individual teaching is but a variation on this theme. The Teacher of Spirit is a Student of Service, and through this Service, Illuminates the Path to the Experience of God.
(c) JoAnne Scalise
JoAnne Scalise specializes in making Spirit accessible—and REAL—through workshops, group, and individual connections developed in collaboration with Source for Mastery—our Divine birthright, and always within us. As a Midwife of Spirit, she is committed to assisting in the Opening to Mastery for those who are ready to SEE themselves as this Light, as Spirit Incarnate. One of her most requested Services is a Mastery Meditation recorded on CD, which contains information specific to the person requesting as well as transformational healing and energy transmissions for the individual path to Mastery. JoAnne is currently working on several books and programs as well as the most recent collaboration with Spirit, the Angels Of meditation series, which will serve as a foundational course for a Masters Series. This series will also contribute to the development of the Angels Of project, which is a series of photography/art books/line of products featuring various cities, with the goal of “conquering homelessness by connecting the Angels around us to the Angels among us”. She also holds a BSN and several national certifications connecting the realms of healthcare and healing.

Contrary to popular notions, teacher licensing in public schools does not insure teacher quality. A license also does not even insure that a public-school teacher knows much about the subject she teaches. In fact, in our upside-down public-school system, licensing often leads to ill-trained and mediocre teachers instructing our children. As we will see, it turns out that teacher licensing is a protection racket.
The notion that only state-approved, licensed teachers can guarantee children a good education is proven wrong by history and common sense. In ancient Athens, the birthplace of logic, science, philosophy, and Western civilization, city authorities did not require teachers to be licensed. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle did not have to get a teaching license from Athenian bureaucrats to open up their Academies. A teacher's success came only from his competence, reputation, and popularity. Students and their parents paid a teacher only if they thought he was worth the money. Competition and an education free market produced great teachers in ancient Greece.
Parents in America gave their children a superior education at home or in small grammar or religious schools for over two hundred years before we had public schools or licensed teachers in this country. School authorities' claim that teachers have to be licensed for our children to get a quality education, is therefore false.
Today, in millions of companies across America, bosses or their managers teach new employees job skills, from the simplest to the most complex. Private schools and trade schools teach millions of students valuable, practical skills. Thousands of college professors with masters or doctorate degrees in the subject they teach, instruct hundreds of thousands of college students in subjects ranging from philosophy to electrical engineering. Over a million home-schooling parents teach their children reading, writing, and math with learn-to-read or learn-math books, computer-learning software, and other teaching materials. All these teachers are not licensed yet they often give children a far better education than licensed public-school teachers.
Licensing laws imply that only public-school education "experts" can judge a teacher's competence. These alleged "experts" are usually graduates of teacher colleges and university education departments. Unfortunately, so-called teacher education is often an academic joke or waste of time, especially to student-teachers who have to endure years of this "teacher-training" torture.
Steve Wulf, writing in Time magazine, revealed the opinion that many student-teachers had about their so-called teacher training:
"Six hundred experienced teachers surveyed in 1995 were brutal about the education they had received, describing it as "mind-numbing," the "shabbiest psycho-babble," and "an abject waste of time." They complained that fragmented, superficial course work had little relevance to classroom realities. And judging by the weak skills of student teachers entering their schools, they observed, the preparation was still woefully inadequate."
Many teacher colleges don't teach crucial reading phonics or math instruction skills, nor do they teach science or history. Many "licensed" reading, math, history, or science teachers have not taken courses in or majored in these subjects in college. One survey by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education found that more than three-quarters of teacher-college graduates preparing to be elementary-school teachers had no academic major except education.
In many teacher colleges, student-teachers don't learn specific knowledge in their subject field or competent teaching techniques to teach our kids reading, math, and science. Instead they learn the history and philosophy of education and other mostly useless nonsense. Also, many university education departments waste student-teachers' time on socialist, politically-correct courses about gender and minority oppression, multiculturalism studies, and other courses that would fit right in to a Marxist curriculum in Cuba.
Licensing also implies that parents can't and shouldn't judge a teacher's competence. Yet millions of parents in all fifty states send their children to private kindergartens, grammar schools, and colleges. These allegedly ignorant parents have no problem judging the competence of teachers in private schools, and withdrawing their children if the schools don't live up to the parents' expectations.
We judge the competence of our car mechanic, accountant, and our child's private kindergarten teacher all the time, and we do so reasonably well. Is there some mysterious reason we can't judge whether our children are learning to read, write, or do math? Public-school officials who claim that parents are too ignorant to judge their children's education are self-serving. If we allegedly can't trust parents with this job, obviously we have to trust the so-called education "experts," thereby guaranteeing these so-called education experts' cushy jobs.
School authorities also claim that we need licensing to guarantee competence, so no charlatans become teachers. Yet some licensed public-schools teachers are barely literate themselves or are ill-trained or have little knowledge of the subject they teach. Fred Bayles, in a "USA Today" column titled, "Those Who Can't Spell or Write, Teach," gave an example:
"On April 1, 1998, the Massachusetts Board of Education gave applicants who wanted to teach, a basic reading and writing test. The results of the test were that 59 percent of the applicants failed. If you think these test results made the Board of Education do something constructive, think again. It promptly lowered the test's passing grade from 77 to 66 percent. Under the "new" standard, only 44 percent failed. Note that all the applicants were college graduates."
Also, these same education students often score lowest in academic achievement among other high-school graduates. Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote about this issue in his book, "Inside American Education."
"Despite some attempts to depict such attitudes as mere snobbery, hard data on education student qualifications have consistently shown their mental test scores to be at or near the bottom among all categories of students. This was as true of studies done in the 1920s and 1930s as of studies in the 1980s. Whether measured by Scholastic Aptitude Tests, ACT tests, vocabulary tests, reading comprehension tests or Graduate Record Examinations, students majoring in education have consistently scored below the national average."
"At the graduate level, it is very much the same story, with students in numerous other fields outscoring education students on the Graduate Record Examination--by from 91 points composite to 259 points, depending on the field. The pool of graduate students in education supplies not only teachers, counselors, and other administrators, but also professors of education and other leaders and spokesmen for the education establishment."
Because of poor teacher training, public schools often hire ill-trained or mediocre teachers, which can cause untold damage to millions of children. Parents have no recourse to oust these teachers because most teachers get tenure after a few years on the job.
In contrast, in a private school, a truly incompetent teacher will not last long. Parents will complain, and the school owner will have to fire this teacher to keep parents happy. Also, for the same reasons, a private-school owner will make every effort to find out if a teacher is competent before he hires that teacher. The school owner's livelihood and the success of his school depend on having competent teachers and happy customers. Compulsory public schools can ignore parents, so they have no such constraints.
Most parents naively assume that if a teacher is licensed, he or she is now a trained professional they should trust their children with. Parents therefore lower their guard with "licensed" teachers because they assume that a licensed teacher must be competent. As we have seen, this is often not the case.
One solution offered for this problem is "merit" pay for teachers. Merit-pay programs would judge all school employees on competence. Better teachers would get paid more, and bad teachers, principals, or administrators could be fired or demoted. How one judges merit, of course, is a whole separate issue, but just as private-school owners devise methods to judge the merit of their teachers, so too could public schools.
Yet, if teacher licensing produced competent teachers, why do school authorities and teachers unions fight so hard against merit pay? The answer seems obvious--the system produces many teachers, principals, and administrators who may not "merit" their pay, and might lose their jobs under merit-pay rules.
In effect, public-school employees say to parents: "You have to pay our salary and benefits, but how dare you demand proof that we know how to teach your children? How dare you judge our merit? How dare you demand that you get your money's worth?" Only employees who think the world owes them a living are afraid to be judged by the people who pay them. So licensing does not keep charlatans out of our public schools. Instead, it practically guarantees that we employ charlatans or ill-trained teachers.
If licensing doesn't work, what is the alternative? The answer is, no licensing. If anyone could teach without a license, like home-schooling parents or private-school teachers, then millions of new, competent, creative teachers would flood the market. These new, unlicensed teachers would compete with one another and drive the price of education down, much as competition drives down the price of computers. They would, hopefully, also put public schools out of business, since millions of parents and free-market schools would now hire these new competent, low-cost teachers.
Without licensing laws, anyone with a special skill or knowledge could simply put an ad in the Yellow Pages or their local newspaper and advertise themselves as a tutor in English, math, biology, history, or computer skills. Retired cooks, engineers, authors, plumbers, musicians, biologists, or businessmen who love teaching could easily open a small school in their homes. If there were no license laws, these talented new teachers would not have to worry about school authorities shutting down their schools because they didn't have a license.
How would parents be sure they were not hiring a charlatan if there were no licensing laws? The same way they judge their car mechanic, accountant, and child's kindergarten teacher -- by results, reputation, and by being careful consumers. Naturally, parents would make occasional mistakes in judgment because they are human. However, they would quickly become careful consumers because they would now be spending their hard-earned money for teachers. It is amazing how fast we learn to judge the work of others when we have to pay for their services out of our own pockets. Also, if a parent does make mistakes in judging an unlicensed teacher, by watching her child's progress she will soon catch her error. At that point, she can quickly fire the teacher and find a better one. Can a parent do that with her children's public-school teachers?
The worst nightmare for public-school authorities is a true free market of teachers who don't need a license to teach. Fierce competition by millions of new, unlicensed, competent, highly-skilled people might destroy public schools, the teacher unions, and teachers' lifetime security in tenured jobs. It might destroy the licensing racket that protects their jobs. That is one unspoken reason why school authorities fiercely defend licensing laws--real competition terrifies them. That is also one of the best reasons to eliminate licensing.
The only way to insure good teachers is to let parents decide who will teach their children, not bureaucrats. Millions of parents making individual decisions about who should teach their children will bring forth the best teachers. Fierce competition and an education free market would raise all boats in the teaching profession. Teachers who want to succeed in their profession would have to prove to parent-customers or private- school owners that they have what it takes. They would have to prove by results that they know how to teach and motivate children to read, write, and learn.
Once this licensing protection racket was broken, parents would have complete control over who teaches their children. Our kids could then learn from the best teachers out there and get the great education they deserve.

Ten Creative Ways to Appreciate a Teacher
When you have an exceptional teacher, you want to honor him or her in an extraordinary way. Anyone who has been teaching for a few years already has an extensive collection of assorted items decorated with apples. If you really appreciate your child's teacher, you want to go above and beyond the ordinary gift. Here are a few creative ideas.
  • Words from the Heart: Many teachers say that the most precious gift they ever received was a heartfelt note from a parent about how the teacher impacted a child's life. This costs nothing but can be priceless to the teacher who receives it. Try to think of specific things the teacher said or did that helped your child to learn more or to become a better person. Put them in a handwritten letter and deliver it to your child's teacher.
  • Scrapbooks: I have seen tough teachers cry when presented with a well-made scrapbook. Assemble pictures of each child, class parties and field trips. Collect thank you notes from each student, and put them together with the photos in a pre-made photo album or scrapbook. Not only can the teacher remember a special year, she can also share the scrapbook with her friends and family, to show them the significance of her work.
  • Dinner: Do you think that your child's teacher is exhausted at the end of the day? Do you think that when she gets home, no matter how tired she is, her kids are asking what's for dinner, just like your kids do? Give a teacher a break with either a home-cooked meal or a restaurant gift certificate.
  • Magazines: All teachers want to encourage students to read more. Often they stretch their own paycheck to buy books and other reading materials to have on hand for students who finish work early or need extra reading practice. There are many educational magazines that a teacher would love to receive for the classroom (Arthur, Ranger Rick, Kids Discover, or National Geographic Kids, to name a few). And this gift keeps giving for a whole school year.
  • Treat a Day: Over the course of a week, put a small treat with a note in your teacher's box each day. She'll have a surprise to look forward to each morning! Monday: a Payday candy bar with a note: "Thought you could use an extra payday." Tuesday: Junior Mints, or any other mint candy with a note: "You mint so much to us this year." Wednesday: A package of nuts with a note: "We're nuts about our teacher." Thursday: Hershey's Hugs with a note: "Hugs for our favorite teacher." Friday: A candle with a note: "You have brightened our child's life."
  • Shirts: This teacher gift will never collect dust because it will be worn again and again. For one day a week, your favorite teacher's morning routine will go more quickly because she will not have to think about what to wear to school. Many companies make teacher shirts with colorful graphics and pro-teacher messages in a variety of styles and colors.
  • Public Praise: The difficult work that teachers do often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the wonderful things that your favorite teacher does for his students. Not only will the teacher enjoy the letter (especially the copy you put in his box at school), but he will probably receive congratulations from others in your community who read the letter!
  • Books: Almost every teacher loves books and reading. There are many types of books which make great teacher appreciation gifts: inspirational teacher books, picture books about special teachers, humorous school stories, and collections of poems about school. A teacher can look back on a gift book throughout the year when she needs encouragement on a tough day.
  • World Changers: Many organizations sell gifts which can change the world. You can adopt a zoo animal or donate a chicken to a third world family, all in the name of your child's teacher. Often these organizations will provide certificates and newsletters to the teacher, adding educational value to a gift that's already heartwarming.
  • Wild Ideas: For the teacher who has absolutely everything, try something wild and crazy to let him know how much you appreciate him. Put a bright pink flamingo in his front yard, with a sign around the flamingo's neck saying: "We were tickled pink to have Mr. Smith for a teacher this year." Won't that be a great Monday morning surprise?


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