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T'AI CHI MAGAZINE - April 1992

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April 1992 - Editor's Notebook

As teachers and students, it is a good idea to continually re-examine our efforts, goals and judgments.
For example, Mike Sigman raises some important questions about ethics and T’ai Chi Ch’uan development in general.
The problems he mentions are serious growing pains. The sooner we deal with them the better, which is easier said than done.
Theoretical guidelines are easy to draw up, but sometimes those guidelines describe ideal teachers and effectively eliminate 75 percent of the teachers, including very good ones.

Another problem is that many teachers, even the best, do not share all their information with their students. An argument can be made that they shouldn’t be expected to. Sometimes a student is not “ripe” enough to receive certain information.
But, at the same time, if teachers give only three fourth of their knowledge to students and the students in turn for the same to their own students, eventually there is not going to be much substance left.

Even if a teacher does not want to give all his knowledge, he should give the inspiration and enough insight so that the student can reach the teacher’s level or higher. That is a responsibility of every teacher. It is not enough to just tell the student to “practice, practice.”
We should also acknowledge that a teacher can have burnout and can get discouraged, which can temporarily affect his or her teaching.

All teachers exist along a continuum. Only a few are terrible and only a few are the best. In between there are a lot of people that we can learn from.

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