For every role that is “performed” in one’s life, the antithesis of that role also is performed. As I examine my many roles that I play in life, I realize that the majority of my time spent on this planet has been filled with learning. We all are eternal students, I guess you could say; this would at least be true in an ideal world. And for every individual whom consumes his or herself with being a student, that person also is a teacher. Too often the definition of teaching gets associated with a labeled person- a person with chalk-stained hands and a bright red apple upon a desk. I believe that teaching goes far beyond any one person who can stand in front of a classroom and program minds with information that will help pass standardized tests, information that will be vastly useless in the “real world”.
More useful in our day-to-day reality are the lessons we take from regular people in our lives. Our parents are our first teachers and the ones that we probably obtain the most information from. Yet most of them do not have a degree in education. And those same parents will learn more from their children than they could have ever been taught in a classroom. The point here is that from the day we are born, we are students and teachers all at the same time. And these are the roles that I feel are most important to discuss as far as their application to my life.
It is difficult to pinpoint the social influences that molded my role. Rather than being shaped from a handful of individuals, I think it was affected more by a collaboration of everyone I have encountered throughout my life. Just as everyone, in their own little way, make an impression on one’s life, so do they impact the role that we will continue to play throughout our lives. Obviously, though, some people are more important in this formation process. These people, of course, are our parents, schoolteachers, close friends, confidants, siblings, and anyone else whom we are relatively close to throughout our lives.
Much like everything else in life, you may be good or bad at any certain role that you play. As far as teaching goes, some are good and helpful whereas some are destructive. Teaching does not always have to be a positive effort. A younger sibling may pick up bad habits from his or her older brother or sister, etc. It is likely that a strength or weakness in our teaching skills relates to what we have seen in our environment, especially from parents or primary role models. In this respect I would say that this role is somewhat inherited; however, not biological or genetic, except in rare cases. These cases may include (but are not limited to), being born with some sort of defect that changes one’s outlook, thus jading their personality and making them a cynical teacher who cannot see a bright side to the world, or perhaps the genetic makeup of someone makes them cast out from the rest of society, making them too bitter to teach a lesson that doesn’t...