'When we are young everything is open and we let in as much light as possible but as we get older, like the eye with too much light, we close it down, we close down the aperture, there is less and less light going in, we lock down and control the things we do but when we are kids everything is open.’
SInce starting teaching, SIr Ken Robinson has had a big impact on my practise, reading his books, watching his videos, with a highlight of seeing him and meeting him last year. It was through him that I found Richard Gerver and he is such an amazing influence to educators today.
When I first came out of university and got my first job I expected to just become an 'adult' and yep all my debts would be gone and I would know how to do everything....... Wrong!! I got overwhelmed by how much unknown there was because the way I saw 'adults' it seemed like they knew all the answers but the more and more I looked it was just most people pretending like they knew what they were doing. So in my first year it felt like I was just surviving and grabbing on to control. However, once I started to look into the likes of Ken Robinson and Richard Gerver I started to reevaluate what I seen as important.
This book really helped me see that change has always been there but if we try to control all aspects and stick to what we know then that will not help us deal with the accelerated changing world we live in now and in turn limit the children we teach. Since coming to Stonefields it has been a breath of fresh air to have leadership, asking questions and solving problems together rather than wanting to be seen to have all the answers and 'in control'. A lot of children I teach are open to all possibilities and I have learnt the more I remain childish instead of trying to be an 'adult' the easier life becomes because I am more able to adapt instead of needing everything to go as planned.
Through my recent work into agency it has become clear that some of my children get anxious when they get things wrong or when there is a change, so not all kids are as open as it may seem. So I have been thinking of ways to integrate this into my approach of building their self awareness and allowing them to see how their feelings towards their learning has an impact on their outcomes.
Although we do not know what the future holds I feel we have to attempt to understand what qualities and skills will be needed/desired to be successful adults: creative, risk takers who can self regulate and adapt to a changing environment (with confidence or resilience?). - That's my thoughts anyways. Helping children to accept and understand what ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable so you are prepared for anything’ means.