...It's harder to find a good student?
I didn't understand this statement until I became a teacher myself. In the 15 years that I've taught the truth of this statement has become more apparent and valid. The first part of this statement is " It's hard to find a good teacher".
My teachers must have been tired of seeing my face. I was an ever present 'stalker'. I was indiscriminate in my attendance - the thirst for understanding this fascinating, complex and hugely misunderstood discipline meant that I went to all the classes I could go to, irrespective of what the teaching programmes were. As I progressed 'up the rank', I continued to line up with the beginners and repeated what I've done countless numbers of times, always discovering some new aspects of the art as I did so. I'd like to qualify that I didn't do this under duress. I genuinely enjoyed, and still enjoy, the energy of being in a class, of being guided into postures that I would hold until the legs scream for release and the body loses the essential quality of relaxation. Or until the teacher tells me to move. For me it was inconceivable that there would, indeed could, be a class without me!
|Davidine Sim being guided by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang - 1998|
A good student therefore is not the strongest, fittest, youngest, most intelligent. But the most interested and committed.
The relationship between a teacher and a student develops over time. Not in term of months, but years. A student's commitment to training, in actions not in rhetoric, and his/her attendance, for self-development and not for association, earns a teacher's respect. Yes, respect goes both ways, although it takes different forms. This respect manifests in the teacher taking the student's progression seriously - by proper, appropriate and timely instruction and guidance.