How to Spot a Great Teacher

I've been blessed in so many areas of my life, but few have been greater than the amazing teachers that have been bestowed upon me in this life. From my third grade teacher Mrs. Clark who brought me to tears when I was suddenly failing reading (turned out I just needed glasses) to davidji who continues to guide me on the journey of becoming a teacher, to all of the difficult relationships I've had in this life. 

They all have had a few things in common. First, they only became amazing teachers when I was willing to see them as such. Some of the greatest experiences and people that shape our beliefs and perspectives of this thing called life, won't ever answer to teacher or professor. 

The second thing they had in common is that they ignited something in me to keep going, to keep pressing on until I came out on the other side. Whether it was my reaction of shear anger, stubbornness (of which I have plenty as a Taurus), or the idea that someone believed in me even when I didn't they all pushed in their own ways to help me grow. 

Thirdly- I felt slightly uncomfortable, yet seen and heard always in their presence.  Sometimes they saw things I thought I was doing a damn good job of hiding. I've come to understand the sort of uncomfortableness as being in the presence of greatness. It's sort of a mixture of fear, excitement, and respect that makes you want to stick around and keep really listening to what they are saying. The feeling that you will be better for knowing them, somehow transformed just by being near their wisdom.  

Lastly, great teachers are the ones that fully understand you will outgrow them one day and welcome you in anyways. They live for that day not matter how bitter sweet it is. They see you for all your faults and love you despite them and have the patience to wait until you can see them too.  

There are a lot of teachers, coaches, mentors, and consultants out there these days. More than that though, there are countless people looking for direction.  The funny thing is, the ultimate teacher lives inside each one of us. It's just rare that we get quiet enough to listen,  or that we have enough self compassion to fully accept ourselves flaws and all. Try and listen to yourself, you know the answer. When you get stuck, find that teacher that permeates greatness and isn't afraid to share, even if you do outgrow them. It might very well be the person you least expect.