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Old 08-20-2002, 07:44 AM   #26
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
keep it simple

They must be competent.

Last edited by mike lee : 08-20-2002 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 09-10-2002, 01:20 PM   #27
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 63
I think that Thalib reply is the best answer that i have seen for this question...

"The one that is a true student"...bravo..

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Old 09-22-2002, 07:46 AM   #28
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Hello, all! I was re-reading this topic and noticed the parallels being drawn between teaching and leadership; I thought I'd weigh in with my own two pennies.

Teaching and leadership are not the same. They're skills cut from the same cloth, but they are nevertheless very different, and require different training. It is of course entirely posiible to be both, and the best leaders and instructors are good at both skills; a student or subordinate would be very lucky indeed to have a person like this to learn from. but the skills are separate.

I'll give ya two examples: My Dad, and my first section commander, 'way back when I first joined the Army. Dad's a great teacher; he taught Printing and Pre-press for twenty years in college; he taught me how to work with film and page design. I learned to be a hard teacher from him; he was VERY tough on his students, there was very little room for sliding or messing around in his class. His attitude in labs was 'Do it right, or fail. your choice.' Sounds like a nightmare, and I suppose he was, but he was fun too - his classes were ALWAYS jam-packed with students; his dropout rate was virtually nil and of the school's job placement program, the vast majority of successful placements were his students. BUT - he wouldn't know how to lead a horse to water. Not even a thirsty one. He could run a class like the master he was, but lead people? No way; he's far too introverted for that; he'd have trouble running a shop floor - he never learned the skills required to be a good leader.

On the other side of the coin was my first Section Commander, Sergeant Whitehall. The meanest, toughest, soft-hearted old fraud you ever saw. We were scared to death of him, hated him, and just loved him to pieces. When he said 'jump' (correction - he never 'said' anything - he either hollered or growled it), we jumped because we wanted to make him happy - which he never was - and also because if we didn't, we'd be digging trenches 'till the cows came home. He was tough, but he was brilliant; a masterful tactician and instinctive leader. I am quite willing to say that I am alive today because of him; just enough of his superb example and canny knowledge rubbed off on me to save me in more than one bad situation. (literally - I have scars that show what would've happened if Id've been a tenth of a second slower.) BUT - Never ask him to teach a class; give the guy a lesson plan and stand him at the front of a class, he couldn't do it - he'd mumble away, reading out of the book, obviously wishing he were anyplace better - like a burning building.

(RIP, Sarge; take it easy on the angels, will ya?)

Anyway, I waxed lyrical again, I tend to when talking about two of my personal heroes. The point was to show how teaching and leadership differ; sorry if I rambled on.


Last edited by DaveO : 09-22-2002 at 07:49 AM.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 09-22-2002, 08:28 AM   #29
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
take no credit

The essence of a good teacher is that he ALWAYS remembers on whose shoulders he stands.
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Old 09-23-2002, 02:58 PM   #30
Tadhg Bird
Tadhg Bird's Avatar
Dojo: New School Aikido, Stockton, CA
Location: Casper, WY
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 55
Paula Lydon wrote:
What, in your opinion, makes a true teacher?
He's two feet tall, green, and lives in a swamp.

OK seriously, a "true" teacher is a clear conduit for learning. An embodiment of the material being taught. S/He leads a student to thier knowledge, but the responsibility to learn is ofcourse, the students.

"Words and letters can never adequately describe Aikido -- its meaning is revealed only to those who are enlightened through hard training." -- Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

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Old 09-23-2002, 05:27 PM   #31
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Smile my truest teacher

My father recently passed away. He was a professor of Biochemistry, and a true teacher in every sense of the word. While I know this forum is regarding aikido, I've been giving a lot of thought to my fathers legacy on me, and how his attitude towards teaching has affected me in all aspects of my life.

For his memorial, people flew in from all over the world; Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, as well as all over America. My mother has been receiving hundreds of condolence cards. Almost all the speakers at the memorial,as well as most of the cards, spoke of how he influenced these people in their lives; how he had mentored their training, and how he never ever made anyone feel like they were not important or in the least bit inferior to him. He always took a genuine interest in people and their work and helped however he could. He also had the dedication and the confidence to know that what he was doing was right for him and to stick by his principals at all times.

I could go on and on about how this man was a true teacher, but I think I'll just leave it at how his students and his colleages were moved by him, and how much he meant to them. If I can live up to even half his model as a teacher I will have done a good job.

As a student, as well as teacher, of aikido, I strive to do as he did. To be a positive influence in any way that I can, to be dedicated, and to have the confidence to know that training is right for me.

These are just some of my thoughts on what makes a teacher.

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