- Anna Brix Thomsen
A Teacher’s Self-Education: DAY 53
“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians.
It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, teach them to think straight, if possible.” — Robert M. Hutchins
In this post I am going to be walking a self-forgiveness process in relation to what I wrote out on DAY 51. The point that I am walking here has to do with how I’ve seen that I tend to be ‘too nice’ and lenient towards the children that I teach and how I’ve seen that this is a pattern that stems from how I was as a student. However another point is also relevant here. Because in my work, the lessons are voluntary, which means that if the parents or kids decide to stop the lessons, then I virtually risk losing my job or risk losing money. So the kids and parents are more like clients than how it is in ‘normal’ schools where the child has to go there without having a say in the matter. So this has affected how I teach because I see that it is important that the children find it fun to go to my classes. But at the same time I have to adhere to a national curricular that I can’t simply defer from. So my self-forgiveness here will be in relation to these points so that I can let these experiences go and be able to teach effectively without having to worry that I will lose my job.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Goethe
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear that I will lose my job if I don’t make sure that the lessons are fun for the kids and as such condition my teaching to fear and to be based on a starting-point of fear within and as myself and as such compromise myself and compromising my teaching because of this fear
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not look commonsensically at the situation with my job where it in fact is so that I risk losing my job as a worst case scenario if the kids aren’t enjoying the lessons, but at the same time I have a curricular to adhere to and even if I were to lose the job, I could find another job and as such it is not a live and death situation that I need to fear – but simply take into consideration practically and accordingly adjust my teaching as I am doing, but without compromising myself because of fear. I also see that children enjoying education, while it challenges them to expand themselves is one of the most important tasks of a teacher and within this I see that I must be patient with myself because I am still a very new teacher and I do not yet know how to establish such a teaching environment, but that is exactly what I am practicing on a daily basis.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to desire for the kids to enjoy and have fun at my lessons because I desire for them to like me and think that I am a ‘cool teacher’ and that I am ‘one of them’ and not part of some adult ‘club’ of boring, old teachers who has no reference to reality and who just force student to learn because that is their job
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to project my own judgment towards teachers as being ‘boring’, ‘old’, without reference to reality and whom I believed and experienced was forcing me to learn just because it was their job
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear becoming one of the teachers that I judged, hated and disdained as a child because I wouldn’t want to be hated, judged and disdained – not considering how it must have been for the teachers that I judged, hated and disdained as a child and treating them as I would want to be treated
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear being judged, hated and disdained by the children that I teach, not realizing that I’ve projected my own hate, judgment and disdain onto them instead of meeting them unconditionally
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not trust myself to teach children effectively and within this I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to judge and define myself as inferior to the children and them superior to me, because I desire their liking and approval
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to define, experience and change myself according to whether I experience that children like me and enjoy my lessons or not and as such feel bad and experience myself negatively when I perceive that they don’t like me or enjoy my lessons and conversely feel happy and positive when I perceive that they do like me and enjoy my lessons
Within this, I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to change who I accept myself as according to my perception of other people’s experience of me – when in fact nothing and no one can change who I am but me – and as such I’m changing myself based on a condition I’ve created within my mind, where I’ve made myself dependent on other people’s perceived experience of me to define myself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that I cannot control how children experience my teaching, whether they like me or enjoy the lessons. All I can do is be effective and to keep expanding myself in developing myself as a teacher and adjust according to the feedback I receive from the children, without changing who I am or define myself based on this feedback
When and as I see myself going into fear of losing my job through the parents or children deciding to stop the classes, I stop and I breathe and I bring myself back here. I realize that there’s no point in fearing the situation, as it isn’t a life and death situation. It simply is what it is and I cannot control what others do. As such instead I commit myself to remain effective within and as taking the practical condition in consideration but without compromising myself through fear and as such compromising the lessons and my teaching and thereby also the children. I commit myself to keep developing myself as a teacher to become effective and create a teaching environment that is both enjoyable and challenging for the children and I understand that I must have patience within and as this and allow myself to walk this process slowly but surely.
When and as I see that I fear that the children won’t like me, that they’ll hate, judge and disdain me, I stop and I breathe and I bring myself back here. Because I realize that I have projected my own judgment, hate and disdain for teachers onto the children and that I have defined myself according to my perception of their experience of me instead of simply remaining here in self-trust within and as a decision of who I am as a teacher, through which another’s experience won’t affect or influence me. I furthermore realize that I cannot control how another will experience my teaching and as such I commit myself to focus on being an effective teacher and to within that investigate what it means to be an effective teacher and accordingly adjust, expand and develop myself.
“It is customary for adults to forget how long and hard and dull school is. The learning by memory all the basic things one must know is the most incredible and unending effort. Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain, and, if you don’t believe that, watch an illiterate adult try to do it. School is not easy and it is not for the most part fun, but then, if you are very lucky, you may find a teacher, Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist, and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching may even be the greatest of the arts, since the medium is the human mind and spirit. My three had these things in common — they all loved what they were doing. They did not tell — they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away, and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, that dangerous stuff, became beautiful and very precious.” – John Steinbeck
In conjunction with this blog series, I suggest to take a moment to read the following blog-post on Basic Income and Teaching where the points I’ve discussed here are further expanded upon.
I recommend reading the following blogs:
Natural Learning Abilities blog series – a MUST READ!
Automation is the Key to Effective Education
Education in the New World Order
Education is a Human Right Deconstructing the Root of All Evil World’s best Education is based on Equality The Fall of our Education System Application of Knowledge, is it being Fostered in ourEducational Systems? – Education Research Part 1 You are also welcome to view the videos on my YouTube channel here
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