What Schools Don't Teach But We Desperately Need
Our honest emotions and good intentions are sometimes misdirected.
When we had our first kid, my wife and I had to decide ahead of time how we would engage with our kids when they got hurt. (One of our boys used to get hurt a lot!)
If he fell over while running, would we run to him, pick him up, and project our own fears and worries onto his young and impressionable mind?
Would we train him to think that the world is dangerous and he always needs to be careful?
Would we teach him that pain is something that can be avoided, and we should always be on the lookout to minimize pain?
Or would we empower him to get back up when he fell?
Would we encourage him to reflect on his experience so that he could learn the most effective lessons from it?
Would we let him know that we’re there for him if he needs us, and that he’s a resilient, healable human - a creative problem-solver that can overcome any challenge of the mind, emotions, or body?
These questions - whether to coddle from our own desire or to more effectively support from his actual needs - can either empower or cheapen his spirit. Educators have the responsibility to consider this in every interaction with our students.
A major problem in current education is that while we’re focused primarily on knowledge and understanding of the outside world, we’re neglecting a thorough, accurate, and empowering understanding of our inner world.
You and I, adults who have come through traditional educational systems, are also pretty deficient in our understanding of our inner world. This lack of understanding on our part is what perpetuates the lack of an impactful transformational education in our K-12 schools.
As a 40-something year old client said to me last week: “A thought I have after every single one of our calls is, ‘Why didn’t I learn this sooner?!’”
A transformational education is not very complicated. It is, however, radical.
It requires that we cultivate compassion, but we don’t let it get in our way of being honest.
It means that we welcome empathy, but we don’t mistake that for effective support.
It invites us to empower individuals, but we don’t neglect the other humans on ALL sides of EVERY issue.
The truth is, the vast majority of educators have no clue how to be compassionate with students while also honoring students' inner spiritual resilience. Most educators don’t know how to hold space for students’ minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits in the classroom, and certainly not with large class sizes. It's because we've never learned this ourselves.
So instead, we go with our gut feelings of being overly empathetic or overly academic or overly analytical.
It’s all coming from good intentions, but good intentions often cheapen the spirit.
Our kids, our society, and we ourselves deserve better. We deserve a transformational education that puts us into the driver’s seat of our own experience - regardless of the circumstances.
This is the most direct way to honor all levels of a person’s experience of life - the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social. It's how I've aimed to show up as a teacher for the last 17 years. It's what I do daily with clients one-on-one. And it's what we all desire for ourselves and others.
Let’s stop treating symptoms. We've found the illness, and there is a cure.
Thanks so much for reading. 🙏❤️
P.S. As a transformational coach, I help people move beyond their self-imposed limitations to be their best and feel amazing. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you, reach out and let’s talk. 💌