// On Teaching //

// On Teaching //

'A good teacher knows he/she is just a guide along the way.

So. If you teach and are thinking of becoming a teacher.

Think. Practice. Study and live what you do. As your thoughts, feelings and actions reflect onto this world.

I feel blessed to have learned from great educators, carers, true masters in their field. To you all I am eternally grateful.

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// Co-operation over Corporatization //

'When you leave your corporate job for whatever reason and decide to work with your passion but find it difficult to do so and then decide to corporatise your work, means you never left the corporation.'  - Baris Yazar

I see many people trying to corporatise art and art forms that they have not sufficiently studied practiced or know about.

Please don't take this personally as this is not a dig at anyone, it just a perspective, a mere look and point of view. I believe everyone in this moment in time is trying to do the best they can with what knowledge they have. 

It's very simple. 

Just have respect and integrity.

The same way If an unqualified artist were to apply for the position you just left be rejected for your role because they are not qualified to play it, is the same way that you are not qualified to Brand, corporatise or sell the art. We must be careful with corporatising and allowing those that hold no authority to corporatise what we do. 

So what is a corporation? It's etymology has a lot to say. It's is made up of 2 words 

Corpus (a body non-living) and Orare (oration) - 'Corporare' 

So the literal translation of corporation is 'Dead speak' and it is defined as To "Combine unite or form into one body" for some purpose. 

Despite not being human beings, corporations, as far as the law is concerned, are legal persons, and have many of the same rights and responsibilities as natural persons do. 

It's all an illusion. 

If you really believe in certifications accreditation's and qualifications then get them but make sure to go out and get 'real' ones.

You may now ask. But how do I get certified or qualified? 

So let's see. What is a certification? It means to be 'officially' recognised as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain criteria and standards. But by who? Who's standards? 

Well.. Ideally it should be by both the person(s) who taught you and the 'community' with which you studied with who together communally agree to recognise you and your work in the field. This could by right be seen as an act of 'authority'. Why? Because you want to be recognised for your work by them and so you then grant them 'authority' and in turn they can now choose whether to recognise you or work or not. 

So now what is authority you may ask? 

It's a person or organisation having political or administrative power and control. Or the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. But remember the reason why authority can act this way is because 'you' (us the community) give them the authorisation to do so! 

So you see...

Now look further, are you being certified or taxed for being registered with a so called governing body? 'who' or 'what' really is the supposed 'authority' in the field your in that is doing the certifying? A government body? or an association linked to a government body? A private enterprise which has no reputation or relationship to other teachers to you and/or has no links in that particular community? A royal seal of approval?

If so, you can be very sure that information presented to you was and had to be regulated in someway, served to you in a way the 'authority' believe right. 

This is one big way the truths and core foundations of arts get diluted and lost, by trying to 'serve' the very authority which in most cases they were once directly stood against!

It is very subtle but there clearly to be seen by those who live, study and practice their art. 

Examples of this can be found in Yoga which is practiced by millions today. Originally from India and largely practiced by holy men who lived on the fringes of society. its 'authorised' teaching in the west was limited to instruction of physical postures 'asanas' and 'pranayama' breathing exercises with its religious and spiritual content taken out. Art forms such as hip hop developed largely by Africans/puerto ricans and their descendants in inner city urban America which in its beginnings carried a strong political message, which was suppressed by the authority as it was seen as a threat and later was to be diluted and repackaged by corporate America who moulded and sold hip hop the way they saw fit for consumption by its middle classes all the way until it has become the worldwide phenomenon of 'hip pop' we know today.

The mentioned above is just a tip of the iceberg. I am sure if you were to study the particular field you are in now, you will find many similarities. 

So if you really want to go and get certified and qualified then make sure to go to the right body, preferably a living one! Someone who lives and breathes what they do, and not someone 'supplied' by a corporation or business upholding corporate methods ideals and values.

'A good teacher is one who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way' - anonymous  

So where do you go? How do you find these people? 

I understand the difficulty in this. As maybe these true living breathing teachers, artists and masters maybe not be found directly on your first Google search and if they are they are probably not on top of the list! So be prepared look further, you may not be able book on to their classes online or purchase their program from their amazing looking Instagram account with thousands of followers, because no one is hired to do it for them or even friend them on Facebook! You may however have over heard their name being mentioned by word of mouth, or been handed their flyer somewhere. They're probably not teaching in the top studios and gyms in a bid to get away from fads, corporate behaviours and exploitation they have seen adopted by these places, so the venue they teach at may not be the most accessible or the nicest with great facilities. The way they teach might not be the most politically correct as they know at heart nor is their art. They are probably not likely to be the best businessmen/women or marketers because they no not care for business more than their art. They are the ones who 'live' their art and are in constant service to it and it's practice. 

How are you to know their credentials? 

If you cannot see directly through their physicality rest assured they will be a living product of their practice. You will see it from their character, their art, values, skills, wisdom all will be embodied. If this is not enough they should be known for doing what they do for a while, so ask others you trust and respect about them. If this still is not enough then look and research into their students and those who are closest to them. All answers will be found there. 

The real 'seal of approval' for a good teachers is given by you and the greater community as you and the community ultimately will choose and create who that will be. So choose wisely who and what to support.

'Put your money where your heart is. Invest in yourself and the artist' - Baris Yazar 

It is our duty as practitioners/supporters and consumers to find out exactly the purpose and intention of these bodies and hold them accountable. As unfortunately much of the corporate Purpose is not to uphold the integrity of the arts, artists its practitioners and their communities but just the sole purpose to make money. So we must stop feeding them, and at the same time be careful not to become like them otherwise we will just be repeating the pattern.

This in my opinion is all very important to know, think about, debate and above all be aware of as teachers, practitioners, studio owners alike as these arts are real living breathing arts created 'for the people by the people'. This fact maybe be heavy for some to accept and realise but many practitioners of the past suffered to lift their arts to where they are today so we can enjoy them and reap their fruits, so let's raise awareness, study and unite to not let them be shaped by dead corporate bodies and those that have no real authority.

Wishing Power to you all