Mike Lee wrote:
"This then becomes a win-win situation -- the student doesn't fall into a rut (and hopefully they stay humble), and I get more people the can help me teach quality aikido."
This makes sense to me. I am a teaching assistant myself, and am finding that every time I get up and explain something or lead a discussion, a topic that I've been soaking in for a decade becomes brand new again. Teaching is the ultimate learning tool.
As for the How To Teach debate... I am lucky to have a very flexible sensei who seems to know (or perhaps I am lucky) when to explain and when to let someone flail, as well as when to encourage and when to leave a student alone.
I think that teachers do best when they are connected with students and give them what they need - it is on a very basic level a service. I am not talking about cheerleading or manufacturing desire for students; it's not like waiting tables. Teaching is, however, a job, not a priviledge. The teacher as some silent performer to be stolen from is rampant in my field, too, and I think it is ungenerous. For that matter, I cannot imagine how bored they must be and cannot figure out why they are wasting their precious time in the classroom by closing themselves behind a shield of largesse when they could be learning themselves.