In my seemingly 40 year transition of an unbeknownst period of time aka “season of life” that I am in right now, I am renewing my education. I thought once I got my masters degree that I would be done with education. But life always has a funny way of resurfacing things from your past and thus my love for education has been rekindled.
For the past several months I have been subbing. I never thought that in teaching I could learn so much about education, children, and the school system at large (second blog to follow about my thoughts on education in America).
In subbing from Kindergarten thru Twelfth grade, I’ve learned the following things:
Kids must be taught.
There’s a song in the musical South Pacific called “Carefully Taught” where the young lieutenant sings that we must be carefully taught to hate and fear. Forty years ago, Rodgers and Hammerstein couldn’t have been more correct. What I’ve observed is that children in elementary school don’t know hate, fear, racism, rich, poor, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. They only have an innate sense of pure wonderment and trust.
However, once they get into Junior high and high school They’ve been taught to hate and fear. It’s sad to see what a lack of parenting does and at the same time what over parenting has done to them. Most problem children aren’t the problem…it’s the parents. Which has ultimately caused me to think about what Jesus had to say about children. Anyone who causes a child to stumble should tie a rock around their neck and go for a swim (personal interpretation).
Kids love unconditionally.
At the elementary age, they know only love. They desire to be loved and love at the same time. They love to be friends, love to play, love to be challenged, and love to laugh. I so enjoy this age because they teach me so much about a perspective on life that I need to have. Often times for me this lesson is not only to love unconditionally, but to have childlike faith. I call it a sense of wonderment and a blissful non-circumstantial discriminating joy. I was shocked when I was teaching music and after an hour, I was being hugged as they left the class!
Kids have a desire to learn.
No matter the age, kids want to learn. They might get classified as a bad kid, again a byproduct of their parents doing, but they still have a desire to learn. I’ve had a few rambunctious classes, and the kids that I am told are “problems” are the ones that really want to learn, even more so than the gold star performers.
Kids have a sense of wonderment and fear.
Sometimes when I’m teaching the little ones, I feel like I have them eating out of the palm of my hand! It’s crazy to me, how a perfect stranger can come in for a day, and they completely trust that when you tell them “pigs can fly” they believe you. They respect your authority and trust that you have their best interests at hand. It’s a matter of innocence and they remind me of this, day in and day out.
For me, these for things are what I have been learning over the past couple of months…summed up it equates to having a childlike faith. I know I keep having to learn these lessons…but whenever I go too far on my own, I always need to be reminded that someone else is teaching me.