In my twenty plus year career as a professional tarot reader, I've often taught and mentored other aspiring tarotists. I like to say that this is something I kind of “fell into” as I never planned on doing it. But requests came and they came often. So I taught.
Sometimes the journey was filled with joy. Other times, not so much. The path of a mentor or teacher is never easy but the rewards are worth it. Watching a student or mentee grow and stretch beyond their limitations is exciting. And there are never any words that can describe the immense feeling of pride that a mentor has when they see their student succeed.
For me, teaching is a sacred endeavor and one that must be treated with great respect – not just by the student but also by the mentor. If you are called to walk this path, here are some guidelines to help you be the best mentor that you can be:
- Only teach what you know and know well. When I take on a mentor relationship, my first order of business is to find out what they want to learn. If they are interested in a subject with which I am not knowledgeable, then I take a pass. Doing otherwise would be insincere and a disservice to the mentee.
- You don't have to work with everyone. Take time to have a initial consultation by phone or email to determine if you are a good fit. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, trust your instincts and send them elsewhere.
- Treat your students as individuals and teach accordingly. Resist the urge to give the same cookie cutter lessons to each one. Tailor the lessons based on what they want to learn as well as how they learn (For example – are they a visual learner? Or do they work better with audio?).
- Your primary concern is for their success. Be invested in their outcome. Don't slack off.
- Your mindset must be similar to that of a football coach. You may be required to push the student beyond their comfort zone at times. Other times may require prodding, hand holding or constructive criticism. Cheer them on for each accomplishment. Be encouraging the whole way.
- Get your ego out of it. Some mentors get jealous if their mentees become more successful than them. If you cannot honestly celebrate someone doing better than yourself, it's time to rethink whether or not you should mentor. I've seen some mentors get downright nasty when the student achieves more success than them. The spirit of teaching requires an interest in making your student the best that they can be. It's not about you. It's all about them.
- Keep learning. A good mentor never stops the learning process. The more you continue to educate yourself, the better you will be at teaching and the more your students will benefit.
- Boundaries are a must. Assume your seat as the teacher and demand respect by behaving respectfully. If a student gets out of line or is disrespectful in any way, handle it immediately. And if a relationship should turn sour for any reason, diplomatically but firmly end it.
Should you decide to enter this path, do not treat it lightly for this is a sacred contract. Put your heart and soul into it. And when your student achieves their goals, step back into the wings and applaud with wild enthusiasm for you have then both succeeded.
"A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you." ~ Bob Proctor
Bio: Theresa Reed aka The Tarot Lady has been reading tarot professionally for twenty years. She teaches tarot and mentors and is especially interested in helping tarot readers transition from hobbyist to pro. She is also an avid blogger (about what else – tarot!), a yoga instructor, and she leads social media workshops for women.
Image credit: taoxproductions.com
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2011