I would like to ask the question more of adults, “What is at the core of motivation behind your work, the way in which you work, or your personal philosophy that drives your work?”
In life, as we grow, learn, and expand our consciousness, seeking greater harmony and peace in ourselves, we mentally take on concepts we have learned to give us a pathway and adopt them into our hearts. These are certainly truths, such as desire for peace, love, joy, servicefulness, kindness, empathy, compassion, etc., but beneath these, there are experiences that sit at our heart’s door, that are like a song of our lives, playing in the background, in the constant pattern of raveling and unraveling. Looking back into our early experiences in life, what formed this “mission” in us?
I noticed one day when thinking of some friends’ philosophies on education and also within education, within their classrooms, the real focus of their life’s work with children is truly the focus of their life’s work with themselves. A person, for example, who had a difficult time in school due to learning challenges, may devote his or her life to helping children overcome these challenges through exercises, tutoring, and developing will power. Another person with the same challenges growing up, may devote his or her life to throwing out the model of structured academic paradigms and focus instead on creating an environment which dispels fear and allows acceptance to flourish. Yet another teacher may focus the basis for his or her work with children on self-knowledge for in his or her life, this has become a personal quest.
These models are based on the perspective and experience of the teacher’s own life. What is right for the children in the classroom, however, depends on the needs and experiences of that child. This is not to say that what you develop and bring into being from your own experience is not important or meaningful It is beautiful and how we come full circle as a human being. As we continue to grow, we make the circle many more times, each time expanding outward and inward simultaneously, each time expanding our ability to relate appropriately to others’ realities.
I read the following which reminded me of my own life experience from childhood as well as the core of my own teaching philosophy:
“What then should be the way of the People?” dreamer asked.
“The way of the People is to perceive within the innocence of the child.” Crazy Dog smiled.
“The child does not want to be different from its parents. If the mother and father do not let the child know that they too have dreams, the child will feel crushed by its own difference and ignorance. The child will feel separated from those people it loves and depends upon. And of course if the child continues to dream, it will begin to hide its dreams. But if the child’s family speaks fo its dreams, the child will share with them and there can be a learning. Dreams can be realized in this way. They can become part of the People, a new awakening.”
-from the book, “Song of Heyoehkah,” by Hyemeyohsts Storm, author also of “Seven Arrows”
Going forward, I hope to create an ever widening circle of understanding of others, their needs, and my ability to tune in to what model, no matter how different from my own, their life and experience demands for peace, harmony, and expansion to flourish within them.