We talk a lot about heart centred teaching. We thought we will give you a short run down of what we conceive as heart centred teaching qualities.
We see each one of these as a tangible act for individual change in our sector. Each one is an ingredient of the smorgasbord of teaching from the heart. Take what you like, leave what you dislike. Add seasoning to taste. And feel free to add your own ingredients.
A smorgasbord of teaching from the Heart
1) Say yes when you can. Don’t become a slave to the clock, a job role title, your 'rights'. Say yes to one more tiny task, five minutes more with a child, to step in and help.
2) Lift your team with an act of kindness. Notice if energy is low, and lift spirits with a plate of baking for morning tea, or a found treasure wrapped for each person. Everyone benefits from a happier team.
3). Choose your language. Be conscious of what you say, and remove words that promote a negative image of children - naughty, nosey, bully, 'nightmare'.
4). Open the doors! Children need nature, and experiences in all weather. Too many settings are still cooping children up, don't be one of them.
5) Slow down. Move slower, talk slower, don't feel in a hurry to 'plan, plan, plan'. Our sector, and society, are too hurried. Savour slow, offer children a pace that is more suited to their needs. Protect their childhood.
6). Look more broadly for inspiration. Don't limit yourself to 'teacher development'. Develop as a whole person. The school of life is full of lessons, open your mind, tune in and grow.
7) Speak up, but offer solutions, not just problems. Be passionate and hungry for improvement, but accompany it with ideas and action. Take a step at a time, be a do-er.
8). Don't just speak your beliefs, embody them. Walk your talk. Live and breathe your philosophy, rather than 'doing' teaching.
9) Put the child at the centre of what you do. Ask yourself who am I doing this for? If your answer is for the MoE first and the child second, shift your priority.
10) Be creative and thrifty with your resources. Close the catalogues and look around you, in nature and at the op shop. Give children beautiful, open ended materials, and create a homely space.