Here are some things I'm thinking about after our conversation today. What is it that makes humans insecure? Is it that they need validation? What happens as a young child that creates that insecurity as an adult? Is it that we are all just insecure? What is the solution?
I believe the basic need for all humans is to feel connected to one another. Even deeper, humans need to be connected to their feelings. Everything we do is either for pleasure or to avoid pain. How we go about it us up to us. We can choose to be in the moment, present and acknowledging how we feel. Everything we want or do, accomplish or do not accomplish is linked to a feeling. What is so scary about feelings? They have been deemed and judged and value has been placed on them. Feelings are what make us human. Feelings are what separate us, and feelings are what drive us. When we can express our feelings, we can feel free. All human communication is based on feelings. Are you giving a presentation on a topic to many people? What feelings are you conveying? You are expressing your feelings of confidence because you know a lot about a topic. You are expressing your feeling of need, or you want to help others become knowledgeable about something you are passionate about.
What happens when you ignore your feelings? Where do I begin? I think that for some reason, we are taught as teachers to shut down feelings in our classroom. We need to get thorough material, we need to teach. What is the real purpose of what we do? Isn't it to education humans? Our job is to work with humans. I think we loose sight of that. We have 20-25 humans in our class every day. 25 different personalities, experiences, people who have feelings and different ways of expressing and viewing the world. As teachers, we have a choice. We can encourage those feelings and individuals and teach them how to find their voices and their place in the world, or we can exert our power as a teacher and shut them down so it's easier for us. Teachers that give space and freedom to their students give a greater gift- the gift of free thought. We owe it to our students to allow them space to grow.
I'm not talking about sitting on bean bags all day and holding fluffy pillows while we cry. A classroom can be a literacy rich, while honoring the individual. How do we do this? We write. Writing is such a simple act of universal acceptance. When you write as a group a couple of things happen. First of all, everyone needs to write. Teacher, student, humans, writing together. When you write together, everyone is equal. Everyone is honored. You are all working together to put your ideas down on paper. It can be for a variety of purposes, but the task is the same. You write to think and thinking provides feelings, or feelings provide thinking. When you give humans space and time to think, it creates instant community and openness.
Just because we have masters, does not make us the authorities. I am not the expert in everything. We can all learn from each other. When you have a classroom based on understanding each other's needs and feelings, it's easy to learn and create together. When teachers feel the need to control and teach AT kids, it's only because they are insecure and they are not honoring their own feelings. It's important to understand you cannot place a test score or grade on a human experience. If you are doing a great job connecting and following your passion as a teacher, as well as giving students permission to do the same, you all get an easy A.
Thanks for reading!