Despite trying as hard as possible not to follow in the parental footsteps—my mother is a home economics teacher, my father an instructor of Tai Chi—there is, for better or worse, something of a teacher in me. Call it genes, an inherited from I don't quite know where sense of patience when explaining things, or just being quite the know-it-all, it seems I am in spite of myself mysteriously suited to the role. Mysteriously, because my parentally garnered inside knowledge has taught me at least one thing—taking up teaching professionally would be sheer insanity!
I am reminded at this point of a maxim common but worth repeating. It is said that the truly wise are wise only in the knowledge of how little they truly know. Let's just say, wise or only partially, my meditation practise reminds me of this knowledge every day.
In my job, or rather former job, I reached a senior level, which meant it was actually in my employment description to help out and train juniors, keeping an eye on their work and showing them how they might do something a better way. Quite the power trip it was not, because no matter how knowledgeable the teacher—an open question in my case—you need receptivity in your pupils, and those who are less experienced, less knowledgeable, and in particular of wounded pride, sometimes aren't. In saying that, people were usually glad to be helped, especially when the help is given without haughtiness, impatience or over-complication (I do try on all three counts), but I should admit that every now and then there was a "pupil" to whom I deliberately neglected my contracted responsibilities.
Read more: Teacher knows best?