Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look into the mirror, and not run from what I see, I have a chance to gain self-knowledge–and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.
from The Courage to Teach: A Guide for Reflection and Renewal