View Full Version : A good teacher takes a deep breath

12-28-2004, 07:22 PM
After 2 threads of breathing and Paul's wonderful article about teaching in the newsletter, I would add something of my own experience.

In his article about teaching in the recent newsletter Paul made a few points about pushing hands in teaching communication. I think this is a brilliant idea, Paul talked about taking a step back and try to listen, feel and absorb the anger of your students, instead of shouting angrily.

In the real situation, however, this can be a little bit more complicated. When teaching a whole class, one needs to put across a certain information to a group within a certain time limit.

An angry and disruptive student may disturb a whole procedure of learning and sharing. Not to forget is the emotions of the teacher him/herself who makes attempts to present an information to the group within a certain concept of time. A teacher is a human being, so his own responses needs to be taken into account.

As an instructor and physician dealing with a large public, I found out that the old saying in the Western world is quite consistent with the teachings in the Tai Chi classics."Take a deep breath" said an old Western saying.

When I'm not particularly pleased with the disrespectful behaviour of a student, the first thing I do is "sung" my shoulders and hip(kua). I attach my tongue to my palate behind my teeth, stay rooted and take a few circular, even, abdominal breaths. My qi rises from the ground up to the tip of my fingers, sink(chuen) to my dantien and re-circulates.............It needs practice, but I found this extremely helpful in whatever I undertake

12-30-2004, 05:01 AM
In other situations I have found it helpfull to take a step back from the situation and take a deep breath. It works very well and can often diffuse difficult tense situations.

12-30-2004, 05:39 PM

YOu may have another look at the thread, your thread"becoming a good teacher" and Paul's article in the last newsletter. Take a step back and the above, feel and listen than absorb the anger.

What my mother says is that in a practical situation it is not as easy. When you take a deep Tai Chi breath and than follow Dr. Lam's advice, we found it more helpful in real situations, not only TC teaching. In psychology, especially for therapists and doctors, we learnt to deal with our own problems first in order to be strong enough to deal with others. Current curriculum in teacher's seminars(and physios:D :D :D

12-31-2004, 10:13 PM
This is certainly wise. It reminds me also of something they taught us in medical school: many times the first thing the doctor should do in an emergency is check her or his own pulse!

Happy 2005,

Richard Livingston, MD

The Poages
01-08-2005, 06:55 AM
I'm currently fascinated by the correlations in all teaching (TC, the obvious one, the medical field, and with me- teaching 8th grade English). I often find myself doing the same techniques many of you described.

Next week, I start my next semester for my M.Ed and I'm really looking forward to citing this site as a source in class discussion (not to mention using TC and qigong to keep me relaxed when deadlines approach- LOL).

01-08-2005, 08:06 PM
As far as diffusing tense situations, we certainly don't want to take a step towards the angry person--that just might get us into their "comfort zone" of 3 feet and intensify the situation. To diffuse that kind of situation I've been taught to step back, talk softly and try to place myself in the other person's shoes.

I have to say that a good deep breath in a situation like that is certainly a great idea, but as Dr. Livingston conveyed to us I might just find my pulse rate UP. We practice Tai Chi, but thankfully we also have human feelings and emotions which help protect us. Take a deep breath now--and RELAX!! Best wishes.