So I’m looking at a point I am facing today which is that, after writing about the tendency to get frustrated and use force/some form of aggression to get things done, and yet, today at school I had a moment with my grade 6 class where I became frustrated with them. So why did I?
Because I have a job to do, and there always exists this underlying fear that there will be negative consequences/experience for me if I do not do what is expected of me. And yet, I am completely certain that, to do the job, to educate the children, this way will not work.
The truth is that I do not control the students desires, wants, habits, interests, actions – nor do their parents – nor does anyone – but the students themselves. One thing I have learned throughout my process is that you cannot make someone else self responsible, you cannot make someone else self directive, you cannot make someone else be self honest. These are responsibilities that must be taken up by each one themselves and this does not exclude the children of our society – in fact it is crucial that they, of all people, learn this point.
All that I am able to do is provide an influence, an example of my own self responsible living application. The same goes for the parents, however the parents play an even greater influential role than I, the teacher does. And then there are greater force of influences such as the media, the government, the religious institutions etc – all play a role in shaping these children, their behavior, attitudes and beliefs.
Like so many societal issues, the tendency is to blame only a select few individuals as culprits. When the children do not do well, the teachers become an easy target, just as when a society is not doing well, the politicians are an easy target – but what about the community which harbored and produced these politicians? Does it bear no responsibility? Are the rest of us all just angels while the politicians are complete anomalies and the only evil doers? No – in fact if most of us were placed in the shoes of the politician, we would be just as self serving. Do you really think that if you had the opportunity to live like a king at the expense of others, your greed and desires would not get the better of you too?
So, to apply this point practically, the fear is of course that parents or supervisors are going to be dissatisfied with the teacher if the teacher does not attempt to use tactics of aggression to have the students submit (even though this doesn’t work). What is stopping me from calmly explaining to them that it is not my responsibility for the students to learn, but rather that of the students and even the parents as the primary care takers of the students? Perhaps it is the awareness that people tend to want to look for something or someone to blame so that they do not have to take self responsibility for themselves – I know this because I am ‘people’.
It may not seem easy, it may be challenging, it may be entering into uncharted waters, into the unknown because here we are talking about imploring people to have a whole new way of looking at things where it is they who are responsible for themselves – and yet, challenging as it may seem, this is the only way to actually make a difference! This is the only opportunity for a real dialogue to open up about how we can actually get real, understand the problems for what they are and be practical in actually doing something about it that will make a real difference – even if it is just a bit at a time – it is much more than repeating the same old patterns and getting nothing done.
The title of my job is ‘teacher’ – not ‘policeman’ or ‘crown control’ – and even if I were a police man or crowd control – how is that system working out for us? The world is in more of a police state than it has ever been and yet, things are only getting worse…
The education system is broken – to put it simply and to understate the severity of the disaster that it is. Like all systems, it is going to take courageous people who have the integrity, self honesty and self responsibility to stand up and make a difference – to offer an alternative that may so far be unseen, and yet, through the certainty of the words spoken that show an understanding of the problem and what must be done in order to correct it, show the soundness of the solution that is being presented. The point is not to rebel – but rather to breathe when the challenges arise – both inner and outer, so that we may allow ourselves to stand as the certainty and soundness that one is dedicated to understanding the problem, taking self responsibility for it – to embrace it as ourselves in order to work out and present a practical solution that is best for all.