In this post we are continuing with the points we discussed in the previous post, where we asked and answered the question: “Is there such a thing as a bad kid?”. Here we looked at the problem of adults, and parents and teachers especially blaming each other for the problems faced by children and most certainly also blaming children – instead of bringing the point of responsibility home to ourselves. In the last vlog we discussed also how we as teachers in fact have a tremendous responsibility, because like it or not, we’re standing as examples for the children we teach, even when we’re not teaching.
In this post we are going to discuss how we as teachers (but also as parents and adults in general) can become the solution instead of being a problem in the education and upbringing of children. Consequently we will also discuss how such a change – from problem to solution can and will affect ourselves, our children and the world as a whole for the better and thus how and why we will all be rewarded by the single point of teachers making the decision to redefine their starting-point as teachers.
If you haven’t yet, I suggest reading the previous blog post and watching the previous vlog. I also suggest in conjunction with reading these blog posts, to read the blogs posts that Maya Harel from Desteni is currently walking in a series where she also talks about the point of child development and adult responsibility – but from a different angle. This will provide a more wholesome perspective of what we’ll be walking in this blog post.
So let’s have a look at the solutions that has come up so far. The first point I’d like to discuss is a point I mentioned in my vlog and in a previous blog post. This has to do with how I’ve realized that I as a teacher, am not only teaching children while I am officially teaching, but also when I’m simply here with them. That means that my voice tonality, the way I move my body, how I experience myself – all of this is a representation of how I stand as an example for these children. So if I am not clear in myself, if I am unstable (which most of us are), I will resonate this to the children, even if my ‘educational pitch’ is perfect and to the point and they will learn from me, sometimes tacitly and innately, other times consciously or subconsciously. This is obviously a problem because clearly not many of us are actually fully aware of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, why we’re saying what we’re saying and how we’re saying it.
However within this is also an opportunity for us to become different examples. Instead of being an example of stressing over time and reacting to time, I can become an example of patience and of being here even though I am working in the frame of time of the current system.
Now if we have a look at these two points: What am I showing to and thereby teaching children by standing as an example of stress over time? I am for example showing them that experiences within the mind are more important than physical reality. I am showing them that my time (and thus money) is more important than them. I am showing them that what is here and what we’re doing here is worth less and thus worth-less than my time. I am also showing them that time is something that I own and that I decide over. See? That’s not cool at all. And if they learn it the way I show it, they will grow up to become adults that stress over time, that are valuing schedules more than actually being and living here – just like every other adult out there.
So – what if we look at the situation differently? What if I were to make a decision to change my starting-point and thus myself and the way that I approach the situation with the child? The time limit is still the same, I still only have 30 minutes to teach and I still have to catch the bus to get to the next lesson. However in changing my starting-point of who I am in the situation, through deliberately and directively change how I approach the situation – I change myself. My body language relaxes, I am no longer looking at the clock all the time, I can focus on my breathing and I can place my words one by one carefully. I can listen to the child I am teaching because my mind is no longer preoccupied with anxiety and worry about time. I am no longer allocating myself inside my head and inside a schedule in my head where I am concerned only about my own self-interest. Instead I am giving myself to this moment, to this child – I am fully here.
Here the child might learn that even though there are adults who are rushing against time constantly and continuously, there is also one adult or two adults or three who are not like that. These adults are presenting a different example of what it means to be an adult. These adults are showing – by how they carry themselves, by how the act in relation to time, that what matters to them is being HERE, that what matters to them is listening to the child, that the child matters to them. The child might grow up integrating this adult’s expression into and as themselves, It might sow a seed in the child, to also approach time differently themselves.
This might seem like a small change, but it is one out of many changes we can make as teachers as we begin investigating how we are affecting and influencing the children we teach. So it is a very concrete example that follows the principle of the equality equation of 1 + 1 = 2.
By changing our starting-points, we do not only change ourselves – but also within that stand as examples of a different way of living on earth and as such stand as different examples towards the children of this world, the children that will grow up and become adults. Instead of being drill sergeants in charge of making consumer zombies out of real live children, we can as teachers become real living examples of what it means to be a dignified and self-responsible human being.
In the next post we will continue looking at more examples of how we as teachers can turn the problem of how we affect and influence children into a solution.