Job Descriptions

by kpmautner

Yesterday’s post brought to mind an article I came across years ago. It was in a glossy horse magazine (that’s all I remember, and I can’t even recall the title of the article) and it dealt with something on the order of “how to get the most out of your lessons and your trainer”.

What struck me (again, this is close to 20 years ago now!) and stuck with me was the line in the article which stated that “your trainer is not your therapist”. I believe the context was that you should learn to stand on your own feet and not use your trainer as a crutch, but it struck me then and it continues to resonate for exactly the opposite reason: 85% to 90% of a trainer’s or teacher’s job is, in fact, therapy. A good teacher (in any field) knows to expect students to come to him or her with their problems, whether subject-related or not.

Part of it is trust. Once a teacher gains the trust of a student, that student feels comfortable in going to that mentor for help. This is a good thing within limits, of course. Every single person who has ever lived has needed someone they could go to for advice, someone they trusted.

Trust comes, in large part, from patience on the part of the teacher. The patience not to throttle the student, the patience to wait out a problem, the patience to listen to the problem and (many times) let it work itself out.

Here’s my heart-felt THANK YOU to all of my teachers everywhere. You know who you are, and you know what you did!