I'm talking about the ones you learn, or teach, without realizing it.
I was thinking about this because of the heartbreaking statement a skater made about the emotional torment she experienced at her rink growing up:
"I asked B why they were so mean to me, and she told me 'well first it was because you had the wrong coach, but then I don't know why we did it after you switched to [for-some-reason acceptable coach.]' And I wondered- does she know that to this day I never really trust that people like me, because of that experience?"I have these issues myself, especially vis-a-vis teaching. Despite more than a decade doing this, despite a Senior PSA rating, I find myself needing confirmation and assurances that I know what I'm doing. But perversely, I don't want them from the people I like and trust, I want the assurance, the recognition, of my tormenters. (I tolerated serious hazing when I started teaching, being an adult skater who had the audacity to decide that I wanted enter the sacred profession.)
We are all teachers, every day of our lives. I learn as much from the unfledged wisdom of a 5 year old as I do from the most eminent grise. Learning is not facts--facts are just acquired, and easy to find if you forget them. Learning is absorbed. Learning is accountable--because what you learn, you teach.
My young friend's tormenter learned, somewhere, to validate herself by harming others. From her, my friend learned caution, but I hope, also, compassion.
Know what you learned. Teach the right things.