The Teacher as the Archetypal Student

What do we expect from our teachers? Do we sometimes put them up on pedestals, expecting them to do no wrong? Or when they are faulted, do we judge them too harshly?

I know I look for a teacher to whom I can look up. Someone who is willing to be real: an honest soul. It is this honesty that begs the learner to search deeper within. The teacher archetype carries with her the promise of fresh, certain, transferable knowledge.

Yet despite this projected promise, what if the teacher thinks of herself as the archetypal student: the perpetual learner? Does she somehow disappoint her own students when she displays a learner’s naïveté? Does the student within the teacher sometimes hinder her capability to convey trust in fresh, certain, transferable knowledge?

I delicately balance these two archetypes; in spite of this, the student seems to be carrying more weight. The question then arises: will the student bring forth a greater honesty from within the teacher, or impregnate a sense of doubt in her own students?

6 thoughts on “The Teacher as the Archetypal Student

  1. I think it is the responsibility of the teacher to show her students that it is okay to make mistakes. Students can learn more from a teacher who allows herself to be vulnerable in front of her students, rather than an obviously flawed person who pretends to be perfect. Students will respect a teacher who openly admits her faults or knowledge gaps. When a teacher does this, learning can become a journey that the teacher and student go on together.


    1. Hello Kaylee Rose,
      I wonder if you realized the perfect timing of your comment. I wrote about it here. I had been planning to write on this topic this week, and there you came along. I’m curious, how did you happen to ind this post? Were you connected to the Failure Fest somehow? And last question, do you have a blog? You have clearly piqued my curiosity. :) Thank you.


      1. Hi Josette,

        That’s so funny! I just went and read your recent post on vulnerability. LOVE it! I hadn’t heard anything about Failure Fest before, but it sounds like a great event! I’ll have to look into it a bit more. I ran across your post doing some research for a presentation, and just decided to leave my two cents :)

        I do have a blog (it’s a new endeavor) and you can find it here:

        Keep up the great writing!


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