Juggling Various Levels of Students

January 26, 2011

Students come in all shapes and sizes. Some are true neophytes, unsure even what the Golden Dawn consists of, nor its long (and sometimes sordid) history. Others consider Temple work old hat, and have been in other groups, or lead their own, or belong to other Temples concurrently. The problem that exists for any teacher, mentor, etc. in a group where the teachings of one grade are separated from others is “how to juggle all these levels of students?”.

If you just speak to the more experienced members of a group, the true neophytes will feel left out, overwhelmed or even intimidated. Likewise, speaking solely to the true neophytes will alienate those who are more “advanced.”

Many groups separate meetings into sections, or have separate meetings for the various levels. Others just blend all the teaching together into the meetings, creating a hodge-podge of knowledge that denies the structure of the Golden Dawn’s teachings.

But what do you do when you’re only meeting once or twice a month, need to rent space, and don’t have enough hours to separate groups of students? Often, the best recourse (at least that I’ve found) is to allow the higher-ranking students to help lead the Neophytes in their Knowledge Lectures, explaining, leading classes, or answering questions. This fosters the growth of the Temple as a whole, creating new teachers or mentors. You (and your “cohorts” for lack of a better term, and to continue the spirit of the Latin “Praemonstrator”) are then responsible for teaching those higher ranking students on their own, either in our out of the Temple itself. Modern technology greatly eases this pressure, and bulletin boards, email, Skype, etc. are great ways to engage everyone.

So the question of the day is, “how does your Temple, group, coven, etc. juggle differing levels of students?”