Sunday, December 05, 2004

Coming soon: on finding a teacher...

As per my earlier post on Richard Baker, and with the emerging issue of finding a teacher for my son (for martial arts, for music, for languages), I have been thinking about how one should find a teacher and what they should teach.

The issue of teachers in America is very muddled to say the least. Teachers in public schools feal beleagured by school boards who have their own agendas, parents who are often not involved in their children's lives, and of course the ever expanding "teaching to test" aspects of education policy.

That said, there are several questions I'd like to address (feel free to comment):

1. What makes a good teacher?

2. What is the proper relationship between teacher and student?

3. What should a teacher teach?

4. How do you evaluate whether a teacher is a good teacher?

5. When is a teacher unnecessary?

6. What responsibilities do parents have when dealing with teachers (when it's a teacher for a child)?

There are many people who have many opinions on this issue, to say the least. I tend to think more pragmatically about the Zen world there are "teachers" that say "a teacher is necessary," to those that say "Boddhidharma is the teacher, I'm not a teacher." Which is correct? How does this generalize to other teachers?

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