Latest News and Comment from Education

Friday, March 26, 2021

Teacher Tom: Setting Ourselves, and Others, Free

Teacher Tom: Setting Ourselves, and Others, Free
Setting Ourselves, and Others, Free

I want the children themselves to tell me their stories, in their own words, reticences, giggles, and gestures. 

I want to listen to them, not just with my ears, but my combined senses; the one comprehensive sense which is, in the end, the only way to really "listen" to anything. 
I want to know them, as much as I can, as they know themselves, not filtered through the "knowing" of the important adults in their lives. That this is how I should strive to know all people is not lost on me, it's just simpler with young children. I suppose it's because they lack the layers of subterfuge and denial with which most of us adults armor ourselves. We call it "innocence," but I think it's also freedom: freedom from the shame that plagues too many of us. What will the others think if they know who I really am? That's not a question young children know to ask until they are taught it through the judgements of others. We teach it when we criticize and equally when we follow them around chirping, "Good job."

We teach children to be ashamed in both overt and subtle ways. It's too bad, of course, because lessons learned CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Setting Ourselves, and Others, Free