I'm still stuck on expectations. I really like my calculus' teachers declaration that, "I have no expectations. If I have expectations, I cannot teach you." It seems very wise that, as a teacher, you practice non-attachment to results. If the teaching is driven by wanting to see a desired result from your students, the whole enterprise moves away from learning to just getting something. That, to me, isn't good motivation.
But is there good motivation? As students and teachers (and parents and mentors) is that something we want to cultivate in certain situations, or should that be something that comes from within? Should the desire to learn be the individual's alone, or are there external influences that are good and healthy?
Probably, a little of both. I think the learning that is held the deepest comes from within. You may start to do something for external reasons, but the reason it sticks with you--and you with it--is because that something resonates and the activity moves from chore to pleasure (or habit?). But maybe the push or encouragement or rule some one else imposes is what you need to get started.
I think about sending my boys to school; while they're young, they'd just as soon hang out with a roomful of 6-yr-olds than stay home with me, but if it was framed as something they have to do, it might give them pause. But, that doesn't matter, they don't really have a choice, because of their age. Internal or external? Maybe by the time they're teenagers, the acquisition of knowledge and experience will have its own attraction and going to school is just part of the routine. (I don't doubt for a minute that there won't be plenty of groaning and foot-dragging, but that's all part of the teenage performance)
And maybe that's the way it is with yoga, too. Some one suggests it will improve your flexibility or strength, or maybe you have to do something low impact until an injury heals. I hope it isn't just to get rid of bra fat. But, whatever gets them in the room, I can tell when new students get hooked. The first few classes, they are usually a bit tentative--looking at everyone else, overdoing a pose, confusing right and left. But, the ones who stay move out of that place of insecurity pretty quickly. You can see their expressions shift and how quickly they come to stillness during the opening meditation. It's just a matter of days before they come up after class and ask where is the best place to get their own mats. I love that and I don't really think that has a whole lot to do with me as a teacher, but how they absorb the subject and make it their own. Internal or external?
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. If you build it, they will come. Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. This topic isn't new, but it's what I've been thinking about.
Would you like to think about it, too?