Learn from Michelle

Choose Your Teacher Wisely

Creative Heart
Many times as an artist we can see magnificent creations and want to learn from an individual, but the real question is, "Is that individual a good teacher?"
When creating Beyond the Brushes, this was a concept I struggled with and asked myself. Am I a good teacher?
That was at the forefront of my mind because in order for any of this to work, in my mind, I needed to be a good teacher.
So, what makes a good teacher? Well, getting advice and words of wisdom from people much smarter than me, I've learned there is a fine balance between characteristics but also clear determinants.
For starters, have you ever thought someone was nice or, on the opposite end, maybe even classified someone as a little scary? These sound like completely different characteristics, but they can be a fine line to walk. Which do you think makes the better teacher? Nice? Scary?
If you said scary, you'd be correct. You see, if someone is too nice, always inflating your ego, and making your journey consistently smooth sailing, what have you learned? Not a darn thing. On the other hand, if you talk to someone knowledgeable about the topic, and there is a sense of fear or maybe respect during your encounter, that person is probably the better teacher.
Now, you don't want to be beaten down. There should not be constant correction, and especially running a business, I have to have my customer service side, but for the most part, my goal is to teach, so I try to give honest feedback from a place of love. Just as much as students have invested in me, I want to invest in them and their growth.
This brings us to another fine line, the amount I talk. Oftentimes, the best teachers are people of few words. They give short, clear instructions, and eloquence is not their forte. Well, eloquence is for sure not my forte 😅, but sometimes, I do end up having to talk more to explain concepts and how to do things. So instead, I limit each lesson to bite-size information.
And finally, the things that are definite characteristics of a good teacher? Find someone who loves the fundamentals and someone who was a learner first. No matter what you are learning, if you don't know the fundamentals, you cannot succeed. As you progress, you will rely on having those in your toolbelt more than anything else. Everything you do comes back to those fundamentals.
And I believe the second should go without saying, but if the person has never been in your position of having to learn what you are learning, why would you let them teach you? They need to have struggled. Any form of talent takes time to cultivate, and the more time they have spent learning and struggling, the better they will be at teaching (if they meet all of the other criteria).
So, when looking for a teacher, choose wisely. You never truly know someone until you're down in the trenches together.
Return to BLOG Home

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join the mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from my team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

I hate SPAM. I will never sell your information, for any reason.