When many beginners in the pagan religions set out, they often start with books. Others might join a group such as as a study group or coven, while others may find a teacher who takes on one student at a time. Any choice is valid, but I wanted to touch base with those who want to be the teacher, not the student.
I started when I was fourteen. I led two study groups and helped found a coven that consisted of nearly thirty people. I organize other groups as well, so I feel I have somewhat authority on the subject of teaching.
The first step requires you to set aside your ego. You’re human, happen to make mistakes, and although you decided to take on students, its not something that should ever be taken lightly. Whatever calling you feel (or felt) led you to the role of teaching, you must accept that its not a role that means you’re above anyone else. Its not a race or competition; spirituality is about the relationship between yourself (or your student) and the Divine. As a teacher, you’re simply sharing your knowledge with the student.
Now you need to ask “Why?”; Why do you feel compelled to teach? What sort of impact do you hope to have on others? Also ask of the student; Why do you want to learn, and why do you want me to teach you?
The next step involves goals. You’ll need to understand what you expect from your student in the way of homework, achievements, and willingness to learn. These should be clear. Will you teach a year and a day? Do you have an idea on what needs to be taught? Casting circle? Spells? Ethics? Will you teach skills such as herbalism or tarot card reading?
How to begin teaching?
- I would suggest having your student(s) bring a notebook for taking notes, ideas, and even jotting down questions they might have when you’re not around.
- Decide on how often to meet. This could be weekly or monthly, or on as-needed basis.
- Develop a lesson outline. This provides both your student and yourself a guide to go by.
- Keep a list of suggested reading. This can include the basics, specific topics you’ll cover such as herbalism, and history.
- Assess the student from time to time for progression and moving through their students. Reassert goals and change them as needed.
The best teachers listen as much as teach, and stay open to what your student can even provide a new way of thinking on things.