What motivates a person to become a teacher? A paid professional teacher. I think about this because my whole life I have been told that I should teach. This is because 1. I like to talk and 2. I read a lot of books and like to tell people about what I’ve read. The reality is that I would be a terrible teacher. I have zero patience for people trying to understand things I already know and I don’t like to stick to any one subject before I move on to something new and fresh. So, although I have wondered from time to time if maybe I missed my calling or if I could learn patience with people, I ultimately don’t think so. I’m a writer. If that’s the way people learn from me, that’s perfect.
But I’ve been thinking about what makes a person want to be a teacher because it appears that every other person on Instagram these days is a spiritual teacher, has a mystery school, is a life or business coach or (and this one is kinda funny to me) has a witch school so you can pay them to teach you how to be a witch. Basically everyone is out here trying to be Tony Robbins or Gabby Bernstein. But why? Is there really a motivation beyond money?
I mean I get it, I do. Who wouldn’t want a job that you can do from your living room giving you location independence while also making you loads of money? I want that! For sure! And the moment I think I’ve got something valuable to offer that could make me a significant income, you’ll be sure to see it. But that’s just the thing. So many of these “teachers” I see cropping up are super young with limited life experience and claiming they can walk you through healing your childhood traumas, show you how to launch a business, or give YOU certification from their program so that you can go out and be a teacher too. Hmmmhm. I guess I’m a skeptic.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that someone needs a degree or has to be a certain age before they are qualified to hang a sign and call themselves a mentor or teacher. Not at all. But if you’re not teaching something you’ve learned from personal experience, from like actually living it or have spent years studying, I just can’t take you seriously. You know why? Because you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. I have that type of personality. I would make an excellent snake oil salesman or possibly a cult leader if I didn’t have integrity and a functioning moral compass. I can read a book and defend a point of view whether I believe it or not. Whether I know what it truly means or not. I can accurately regurgitate information and with conviction. But so what? It seems that eventually people who operate like this always get exposed. That’s because the truth can’t be hidden forever.
Have you ever bought a bunch of books about frugal living and country skills to save yourself money, only to find that the information is totally impractical or no brainer stuff you’ve been doing forever, but now you’re out a hundred dollars in books and it has given you zero benefit!? No? That’s just me? Well, when I see a lot of these “fix your life quick” workshops being offered by every person on Instagram who has read a self help book I get this little flame of intuition in my gut saying, “Remember the country skills books Leanne?”. It gives me that same feeling when I see yet another perfectly curated page selling essential oils. And yes, I’ve been down that road too. It’s a very expensive club to be a part of.
Back to my original question. Why are these people calling themselves teachers after maybe taking one or two workshops themselves and then going out and trying to duplicate the process? I mean sure, I’m gonna bet a lot of these people are genuinely good folks and would actually like to do something with their life that is beneficial to others. But I’m also willing to bet the majority of these teachers are full of shit. They probably don’t fully understand what they’re preaching about and are purely motivated by the money. There may be a few who at best can offer you something worth the money you spend or at worst give you an expensive little club to be a part of; but likely you’ll just walk away wishing you had that money back.
So this is my warning to any off you thinking about that course or seminar or school that keeps popping up as you scroll. Ask questions. Find out where and for how long this person studied. They owe it to you to be transparent if they’re asking for your money. Ask yourself how this will benefit you once it’s done. Will you earn a legitimate certification or is this just something fun to pass the time? And if someone is promising a type of therapy, maybe consider looking at real professionals in your area too. Just a thought.
Well, what can we be looking for in an online teacher then, you ask? I am currently in a Mystery School myself. The Red Moon Mystery school if you want to look into it. What I needed to see to sign up was..
- A teacher who was my age or older. I wasn’t looking to be taught by someone going through a phase of life I’ve already been through.
- A woman (yes, I wanted to learn specifically from a woman) who had spent a significant number of years studying what she is now teaching, and from more than one teacher.
- A school that would give me a certificate at the end to frame and hang on the wall. Yep, totally for my ego but that’s important to me.
- A course of study that I felt would really benefit my life.
- Tuition that seemed fair and that I didn’t need to take a loan out to pay for.
That last point is important. I’ve seen more than one person on Instagram encouraging women to take out a credit card to pay for her courses and then promising that if the student does as she teaches they’ll have no problem making the money to pay it back. Another woman went to a few Tony Robbins events and now charges thousands of dollars a month for you to have access to her teachings. No fucking thank you.
Just be cautious. Question people’s motivation. I’ll be a student for the rest of my life. I find tremendous joy in learning new things and having a mentor can really be beneficial if you’re learning a specific skill or trade. Just make sure they are genuine because for every real teacher out there you’ll find a hundred imposters.