One of the aims of heart centred teaching is to help our children to experience core values of love, care, kindness and beauty. These are abstract concepts for children if you do not provide opportunities for them to experience what care means. Saying “that is not very caring” to a child when the child doesn’t experience what caring means is fruitless. As heart centred teachers we have come to realise how important it is to "model as you teach".
Learning from observing
At this young age, children learn most from observing and doing, they need to see you model what you are teaching and they need opportunities to practice it. To foster or teach positive attitudes, you need to model positive attitudes. For the children to really understand these concepts, they have to experience them.
While this may seem simple, I is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Not that it’s hard to model caring, or kindness.
What is hard is to truly model the frame of mind that is needed to foster these attitudes, especially when that frame of mind is transient.
Teaching is a journey, you never stand still. A true teacher is a lifelong learner, and as we learn, our mind shifts.
The positive attitudes needed to support a thriving community need to be integrated in how we think. Becoming a sustainable community is a transformative journey. We learn, by acting and experimenting. As we are learning, and practicing, our modeling is not always what we say or teach.
As teachers and as part of our own self review and reflection, we need not only ask ourself the question "am I doing the right things, in what way does this activity contribute to the growth of the child?", we also need to listen to our children.
Who’s the teacher?
The children are our biggest teachers. Their questions, observations and remarks show us that teaching goes beyond our practices, it is about what mind shifts we make as a result of our practices.
The transformative journey of teaching can be challenging, but very rewarding. In a well functioning team you will learn from and with each other and the children as you share the journey. Reflecting on your own daily thoughts, decisions and actions help you learning to model as you teach, together!
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