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  • Writer's picturedennisharris04


As I write this I can’t help but think about my high school English teacher that encouraged my writing and was very supportive, to the degree of even putting my poems into the school yearbook. I certainly think of many of my teachers as very helpful in times when I needed positive guidance the most in my life.

There is something about people who have chosen a career that dedicates themselves to passing on knowledge to cultivate and motivate young minds. Two close friends of mine are teachers and chose it because of the teachers who inspired them. It is a noble profession and should be appreciated more than it is. Most teachers do what they do with the best intentions and are a crucial part of helping our society grow.

So all that being said, if you don’t have your teaching degree, does that mean you have nothing to teach? I would suggest that we are all teachers and students for the rest of our lives whether we realize it or not. I think good teachers come on a case-to-case basis whether you are a professional teacher or just living life. The lessons in life we learn are not always good and not always bad. There are definitely situations in all forms that make us a teacher at some point, even if that is the furthest thing from our minds.

I remember back to when I was coming through one of the darkest times in my life. I decided to start truly living again, essentially fighting to put my life back on the path I wanted. One of my closest friends was there for me, even though I hadn’t seen him much during that time. It was more on me than anyone, but my friend reminded me by his actions what true friendship is. There was a lesson in the fact that people who care never truly go away and will be there no matter what, especially when you are ready to pick yourself up. I started letting go of the past and that was not only a beginning to really living again, but it was the first time I had put myself in the mindset of wanting to heal from the life I had lived up to that point. My friend was teaching me new lessons while learning others from the positive choices I had made. I had opened my mind to positive possibilities, shed the dark and draining people surrounding me, and was ready for new experiences.

I went back to Martial Arts, met some fantastic new friends, and had a great instructor that was teaching cutting edge techniques that were keeping me engaged. He and the rest of the guys that I trained with became great friends. I believe in that time my mind was becoming clearer and more open to all possibilities. I wasn’t looking for or expecting anything, I had focused only on being on the right path. Once I allowed myself to let go and open up, new people with new lessons came into my life.

One of the greatest and most impactful lessons came from a woman that is now my wife. I had given up on love, wasn’t looking for it and certainly wasn’t getting it from my family, but I was still in a good mindset. She not only taught me it was okay to love again, but that it didn’t have to be one-sided or come with dark expectations. It was the first time where I glimpsed love without some negatively driven expectations. We became great friends and would eventually start the only true family I have ever had.

I have been on the receiving end of many lessons both good and bad during my life. Sometimes the teachers are obvious and expected, like your favorite high school teacher, other times you don’t even see the lesson coming or the unexpected person teaching it. I have also been the teacher of both good and bad lessons throughout, and of course not all the times were planned. There have definitely been more good lessons because I want to give back, just like the people that passed on the lessons that contributed to my experiences. Do you have a teacher that changed your life for the good? Have you been that teacher?

We have all been teachers and students as I mentioned earlier, but have the lessons made a difference in your life? There is something special that happens when you take the time to teach some knowledge that creates a compounded effect. Not only are you passing on what you know, but it can cause you to reflect back on how you obtained that knowledge. It keeps you sharp on the lessons someone taught you, what they meant and how important it is to pass them on. I think that effect realized creates a good teacher over time and will ensure the lessons passed along become better with time.

If you don’t care what you pass on, good or bad, then you are not the kind of teacher people should pursue. Some people are good students, some good teachers and those who embrace both will have an enriched life experience. I think the latter can be worked on if you are willing and your mind is open. A harmonious life comes with a variety of teachers and lessons that help turn it all into a productive experience.

The world would become a stagnant and redundant place if we stopped being willing to pass on knowledge. We must also be willing to be a student that is open to continuous knowledge, nobody knows everything. Old knowledge is good, but should serve as the foundation for growth and how we approach new lessons. We need to find real harmony between the old and the new. I’m always looking forward to learning something, but I am willing to teach as well. Are you willing to learn? Are you willing to teach? A willing student coupled with the power of a good teacher will create magical things. What was the last thing you taught or learned that still brings a smile to your face? Go out there and find the next thing.

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Jan 30, 2023

Thanks for reading Bob. You have achieved the best lesson, no matter whether the experience is positive or negative, the process of learning is still a positive thing. Thanks for the reply, I hope everyone can learn that very lesson sooner than later🤔👍



Robert Hale
Nov 10, 2022

You make some valid points regarding being a good teacher and striving to be a good student. I was once told that, in order to learn something well, you should teach it to someone else. This holds true when honing a skill that would otherwise deteriorate if not used. I have had many influential teachers and instructors over the years. All of them, regardless of whether they were good or bad, served as a learning experience. I include you in that mix as well. When someone takes an interst in what you do (in your case, it would be writing a blog), it serves as an unexpected learning opportunity and will leave both positive and negative impress…

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