Now I can't really compare the two because I'm self-taught and I've only ever had one student which was IRL... But I thought it'd be interesting to compare experiences as either teachers or students, to get a sense of the difference between the two for newbies to look at before diving into something head first. Different types of learning suit different people, and some might be a little disappointed if they're not getting what they expected from a certain experience. So, yeah... Just to give the newbies (And perhaps not so newbies...) a bit of an idea of what they're in for.
I'll start the ball rolling with the small experience I have as a teacher, though like I've said before: I can't really compare.
I've had one student IRL, younger than me and female. We were close friends at the time, so everything started out fairly alright. She was a little shy and hesitant about it to begin with, but as she started to open up there was a connection of sorts that could be felt. Deeper and stronger than that of our friendship, and with a strong element of trust. I imagine that this this 'connection' of sorts or really strong 'vibe' could be somewhat less potent through online learning as opposed to learning IRL. /Which wouldn't be a good thing.../ Because there is only so much that the words of a teacher's instruction can express, and it's that connection that conveys that which can't really be said. It's also useful for weeding out students who might be potentially dangerous to innocent people... As it was with my student as she inevitably grew bolder. Now I'm no fluffy bunny, and I'll curse and hex people when they deserve it...! But even I have my limits. Eventually she stopped putting her heart into spells that would've been of use to her, and started asking me to teach her darker magic... Which I would've been happy to do, if her targets hadn't have been so undeserving of such wrath. After a while she stopped asking, but I knew that she was still hoping that I'd change my mind and though I never saw her do it I knew threw the connection when she'd been looking up dark magic online behind my back. I tried to wait it out a little, letting her know that I wasn't going to change my mind about that... But the vibe of the connection remained 'icky'. She was drunk on power and after a while I knew that wasn't going to change... So knowing that it wasn't going to end well, I bound what power she had to use and severed all connections from her. I've seen her once since and she's screwed up her life chasing cheap highs to try and replicate the same high she got from working with magic before I bound her ability to do so. The connection appeared again briefly and I knew then that it was all gone, leaving the connection feeling stripped and dry. Though I don't regret what I did... What has become of her, she did to herself. And I feel satisfied in knowing that she can no longer do undue harm... She still doesn't know that I was the one who took that from her, and I certainly will not be the one to tell her.
Saulf, i too am self taught and have learned in real life. some things that i have noticed, is that if a person hasnt lived the experiences and understandings and walked through what brought them to understand something, then its going to be much more difficult for them to understand. i can explain something, and people will think they understand what im saying, but often they dont at all, or they will simply have a very hard time comprehending it, or become argumentative. each persons path is important for them to discover and grow. second hand knowledge and understanding has the potential to remain second hand, instead of becoming the living breathing essence of what its all about.
Saulf, have you ever softly played music like this in the background while teaching?