Realizations from working with Children

User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 15 Nov 2014, 12:37

Here I will be sharing the realizations that has come up through my work as a teacher. If you also work with children, you're welcome to share your realizations here as well and if you are a parent who have a question about your children in relation to school or education, you're also welcome to share that here, and those of us who work with children or have experiences with children that we can share to support can then give our perspectives.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 15 Nov 2014, 12:45

Yesterday I was working with a 5th grade student. He is someone who is used to being good, if not best in school. The assignment was that he was to do a descriptive writing about a set of images. He was reluctant and refused to do the work. When I asked him about it he said that it was because he wasn't good enough at writing, that he couldn't do it.

I shared with him how, when there's something you're not good at, it isn't going to help to simply not do it and avoid it because this way you'll simply stay on the same level forever and won't ever get better and then what's the point? I shared with him how, if you are not satisfied with where you're at, the only way to change that is through pushing through the resistance and practice until you get better.

From having refused to do the work and insisting that he couldn't do it, my student contemplated for a moment. The he picked up the paper and he started writing. The words flowed out of him naturally and when I showed him that he didn't have a single spelling error he was surprised and happy.

He had pushed through his resistance.

I realized that I was only able to support my student to push through his resistance, because this is a point I've been working with for myself. I wouldn't have been able to show him the consequences of not pushing through if I hadn't walked through the point for myself. I realized how important it is for us as adults to change, so that we can assist and support our children to not perpetuate and repeat the same destructive cycles that we've lived.

I only learned this lesson as an adult, but if I can assist my students to learn this now, it will save them years of avoiding things they are not good at. They'll be able to embrace and learn new things without fear and realize that they don't always have to be the best at everything, that it's okay to admit that you're not good at something and then push yourself to expand.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 18 Nov 2014, 21:49

I have a 1st grade student (7 year old) who is becoming increasingly stressed. In our previous lesson we talked about it so today I asked her how it was going with her stress. She explained that she was still very stressed and that one of the reasons is because her parents are stressing, especially in the morning when they have to go to school. She told me that she likes to walk slowly and look at the flowers along her way, but her dad rushes her and gets frustrated with her.

I explained to her how adults rush and are stressed because they're in their minds thinking about all the things they have to get done and that children are much more in their bodies and that adults have simply forgotten what it is like not to rush. I told her that when her dad was a child he was also like that, but that he's probably forgotten, so that it's good that he has her to remind him to slow down. She was very surprised by that and she asked me: "But I don't want to forget, how do I not forget?" I told her that she has to simply make a decision not to forget and that if she ever finds herself rushing like that, she can simply slow down within herself.

We also talked about how people in other countries don't rush the same way that we do here, so because it's something we do here, she might have to learn, and there she can learn something from her dad; they can help each other. She can help him to slow down and he can help her to learn how to be on time. We also talked about how you can 'hurry slowly' which is an expression we have in Danish to explain how, even though you're in a hurry, you don't have to go into stress or be rushed within yourself. Finally we practiced breathing and I showed her how, when she takes a deep breath and push it all the way down to the toes and fingers she can slow herself down inside.

I have no idea how much of our conversations is getting through, whether a seed of common sense is being planted or not, but I do know that this 7 year-old is one of the most commonsensical people I encounter in my day-to-day living and if there's anyone who's going to get it, it's her.

Imagine how much of a difference we can make in just one child's life and then potentially in all the lives that she encounters during a life-time, if we can assist them to implement self-supportive tools to face the world and not have to let go of one's natural self-expression.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 19 Nov 2014, 19:50

I have been working with 'thinking out of the box' when it comes to finding solutions for how to create effective lessons and learning environments, especially with being a new teacher - because when I've done this, it has allowed me to see possibilities I didn't even know existed until I opened myself up to them. Here for example, it can also be supportive to identify and let go of any ideas or expectations one might have towards how this activity time should unfold or how the children (or one) should experience oneself during it. Because what I've found is that, especially when something is completely new to us and we basically don't know what we're doing, it might not be successful at first. We might have to try out a lot of different things before we find something that is spot on and that the children love.

So what I've found supportive is to simply allow oneself to be with the child at first in whatever activity, even though it might not be optimal - and then to initially focus more on investigating the situation from a 'scientific' perspective in terms of investigating what works and what doesn't work, rather than necessarily having the aim that it should just be super fun for everyone lol. Because it might not be - and that's okay. We're all in a learning process.

So this is what I've learned: keep the expectations low, focus on being practical, think out of the box and follow the child and see what they are interested in and let go of any ideas of how things are supposed to go. Who knows? We might surprise ourselves.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 19 Nov 2014, 19:52

Resisting to spend time with kids and/or seeing it as boring.

This is something I've learned from playing with our cats.

I would see it as an inconvenience, like I was being pulled away from something 'more important/more enjoyable' to do this 'pointless activity'. It took me a Looooooong time where I had to force myself to do it (this case play with the cats) just because I knew that if I didn't they would be too rambunctious. After quite a while I started enjoying it, watching their expressions change, observe all the little interesting ways their bodies move and just to take that moment to be with them and so also be with myself. So I usually sit down on the kitchen floor, grab a toy and start playing.

With the kids, something I've done is also to surrender to it, where for example, they love being in the sandbox, but I didn't like it. I put on some more practical clothes so that I could actually sit in the sandbox with them and really be there and explore the sand for myself and together with the child, and I started to enjoy it.

So that's what I've realized, we have to give ourselves unconditionally. We can't pretend that we're there and we're part of the activity when we're really not because the kids pick up on that and that's when they start getting clingy and whiny - they're essentially calling out our bluff lol

Something else that I also then focus on when doing things with the kids, is to do things that I also find enjoyable and again - to keep it really simple. And then if we are doing something that they enjoy, I look for where I can expand myself in the activity. For example I can work with being okay and comfortable sitting still. or I explore the texture of the toy or something - so that I make sure that I am activity engaging in the activity and not being in my head wanting to be somewhere else.

Allowing oneself to simply sit down or even sit down in a sandbox or dance around or walk an exploratory walk in the neighborhood without any other aim but doing just is awesome activities that assist not only the child but also oneself.



User avatar
Terrone28
Posts: 37
Joined: 21 Nov 2014, 08:55

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Terrone28 » 22 Nov 2014, 05:18

Thanks for sharing your experiences Anna.
I have learned a lot of things, I think it's fun being a teacher for the children, you help them grow with the good things and teach them to learn new things that they'll carry forever.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 22 Nov 2014, 11:29

Thanks Terrone!



Michelle
Posts: 442
Joined: 15 Jun 2011, 14:08
Contact:

Day 218: Realizations from Being with Children

Postby Michelle » 03 Dec 2014, 23:52

Day 218: Realizations from Being with Children
http://michellesjourneytolife.blogspot. ... -with.html

I got invited today as a potential candidate for an English pre-school to come in and play with the children for a few hours. This allowed me to meet the other staff members, get a good feel for the job to then be determined if I would be a good fit there.

While I was with these children, aged 1 1/2 to 3 years old, I had many realizations. Here are some I wrote down:

1) They're cute, but don't let that get to you.

I saw myself go into like the 'awww she's so cute' point, thinking that this little girl is perfectly sweet and nice. But then I observed how this sweet looking little girl actually caused some problems in the class, biting children, hitting them. So the girl's behavior was not aligned to an idea I had of her, and of course, this does not make her a ''bad girl'' -- she could have only picked up/acted on such behaviors from us (humanity, parents, caregivers, teachers, world).

So within this I realized the following: looks can be deceiving, and this even applies to our society and world in general, where in the media we can become so captivated by an actress or actor and think all these good things about them, but we really don't know the reality of them, just like how we have ideas of ourselves, perhaps thinking we are good people because we give to charity, but not realizing how we give to charity because it makes us ''feel better'' as a self-interest point instead of consideration that charities are simply band-aids and do not actually help the poor for the long-run, it only helps them temporarily. So basically I saw here how I need to stop easily assuming or interpreting how another is, based on how I ''think'' they are according to how they look.

2) The ''mine'' point:

I have seen instances of children saying the ''mine'' and not wanting to share with others. Even the word ''mine'' sounds like mind, lol.

I see this as where a child says ''mine'' as a form of fear because what I interpreted when I went over to this girl and asked her if her doll is sleeping she said ''mine'' and brought the doll closer to herself, so I wondered if maybe she thought I was going to take it from her, which also brings me to the point of survival of the fittest, how we fear losing money or things in our lives that can threaten our life. We are basically programmed to survive. I mean it's in our DNA in a way -- we must survive, because the world we live in today is built on competition and survival where we really cannot trust each other because our world is hostile, it is insecure, we do not have a secure monetary system based on consideration of all beings on the planet so that everyone, humans, animals even plants have all basic needs fulfilled to live on this planet, and because we don't have this, we don't have a secure world or monetary system -- we are insecure, we are in fear all the time, we must live based in survival, ''working to survive,'' essentially.

3) We need more education about how to work with children:

Some basic ''troublesome behaviors'' of 2-3 year olds are pulling hair, screaming, basically acting out in ways that make the environment stressful for others. What we usually do is say ''stop, don't do that'' and if the behavior continues, we put them in the time out chair. The problem I see within that is that we don't communicate to the children about their behavior, the consequences of it, how it effects the other person, and especially in the case of 2-3 year olds, this is very hard to communicate such things, to talk about consequences.

Their behaviors must then come from us, the caregivers, the parents, the teachers, because of how we exist within. For example, there is a blog from Leila on parenting and why babies throw temper tantrums, and it was pointed out that as a parent, when you really want to do something, but unable to and throw a tantrum about it in your mind, babies pick up on that and see how you accept and allow it, so then over time, babies then develop that temper tantrum tendency because of how we as parents or caregivers allowed it to exist in us.

We require more education on how to effectively work with children, and that does start with working with ourselves in understanding how we exist according to our minds because who we are/how we exist in the mind makes a big impact on our children.

Fortunately, as of late, there have been audio recordings on parenting and how to work with the mind so you as a parent, teacher or caregiver can learn how to become stable for your children. It's on EQAFE.com -- I definitely suggest you check it out.

Additional notes: I can see it for myself that when working with the young children it's important to remain as stable as possible because if you allow yourself to go into reaction, it will affect how you speak, how you move, and how you are, and children will see it and pick up on it -- they naturally look to us as examples so when we don't breathe and sort our reactions out but allow them to remain within us, the kids will assume that reacting and holding onto reactions is okay and will then develop that pattern. Such children I have met rarely hold onto grudges or emotions, they are more easily able to let things go, which is cool.

That is what I have for today. Thanks for reading.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 03 Dec 2014, 23:55

Cool Michelle! Thanks for sharing.



User avatar
Anna
Posts: 3724
Joined: 12 Jun 2011, 20:17
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Realizations from working with Children

Postby Anna » 07 Feb 2015, 03:35

Since I've started introducing more unschooling principles into my teaching (as contradictory as that is) I've noticed a remarkable change in my students. They're more relaxed, more engaged and appear to be enjoying themselves a lot more. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm more relaxed, more engaged and thus enjoying myself more.

So what does this look like?

I listen to them, I'm interested in what they have to say, I am engaged with them, meaning: I am not preoccupied with getting results or accomplishing things. Instead I am here with them and let the moment naturally unfold, (while having somewhat of a plan of what we're doing/where we're going). But I am letting go of the 'need' to control the situation - which I've realized mostly came from fear. Fear of how their parents/other teachers/my boss would see me if I don't show 'results'.

So, because I'm letting go of that fear and that need to control and make sure they get results, I can also be more present and listen more to their individual needs. So if someone doesn't want to do something, I don't make them. (Which I used to do reluctantly out of fear).

Instead I talk to them about it and make sure that they really don't want to do it and find out why. Then we do something else, no big deal. If I see that they resist because its something they find difficult, I encourage them to push through - and they do.

I focus more on getting to know their individual needs and do things that they want to do/that suit them and where they're at. This doesn't change the effectiveness of my teaching, because they still 'learn what they need to learn' (In this case Danish as a 2nd native language) - but they don't even notice it. Lol - sometimes they tell me: "but this isn't Danish, we aren't really learning Danish." and then I say: "What do you mean? You're practicing reading and writing and speaking in Danish! Only you're doing it with something you're actually interested in and that is fun, so you don't even notice."
It's sneaky learning lol.

One example of how I'm changing in my practices, was from a preschool I recently visited. A little girl aged 3 wanted me to draw her a drawing. She started whimpering and talking to me in a manipulative baby voice lol. Her body language changed and she started becoming emotional. I actually found the situation quite funny and looked within myself at how I could best direct it, what would be best for her and for me in the moment.

So then I calmly said to her: "Okay, but then you gotta talk in your normal voice". What she did next was very sweet and moving.She tried changing her voice back to her normal voice. She struggled at first because I'm not sure anyone has ever asked her to do this before. So she wasn't used to directing herself to move out of the 'cry baby personality' lol. But she definitely understood exactly what I meant. As she tried a couple of times and reverted back and tried again, I could see how her body language changed and she started straightening herself up. She knew exactly what she was doing. She tried a couple of times more and finally got it, back to her normal voice - and I drew the drawing, not because she manipulated me to by being emotional, but because she had asked in self-respect and I wanted to honor that.




Return to “Questions about Children”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron