How do you feel about that, Ilse? Does that remind you of anything from your past? How would you like to approach this? Those initially awkward yet eventually empowering conversations with your therapist…the ones that help you work through your feelings – respecting and recognising them, then moving through to a slightly new approach – growth and healing, through speaking and listening – powerful stuff.
Right now, during social distancing/isolation, we value conversation like never before – craving online connection with friends and family – to keep our spirits up, offer new perspectives and have a good belly-laugh. We make a point of speaking to new neighbours, who may have come to your/others’ rescue at this strange time. We’re acknowledging strangers (at a distance!) more than ever before – with a shared understanding of life as-it-is.
Families are baking together, eating around a table, reading to each other and learning a new way of socialising full-time. Partners are forced to find effective methods of communication, having never spent so much time together. Grandparents are finding new ways to connect with Grandchildren online, imparting their wisdom and encouragement for resilience and positivity, and in return receiving an education on how to position a smart-phone camera on a video call, or gently ‘tap’ the screen, from their young teachers!
Teachers lead learning in new ways – on camera, with new methods for communicating feedback digitally. Ethical businesses are finding new ways of communicating their purpose and vision for a brighter, connected world as they fight for survival, hoping the newly-mindful public will aspire for social purpose in their spending.
Yet as we connect on new levels, are we taking the time to converse with ourselves – to listen, and speak, openly and freely? In a kind and understanding way? In the way we are with our children, pupils, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbours and even strangers? Are we checking in – listening to our fears and uncertainties…getting to know them for a while, before moving towards a more positive approach, motivated by a new, peaceful perspective of the world. This is a huge time for growth and development – on a personal level, a global level and in Education.
When you return to the classroom, consider the significance of conversation – how did your students sleep last night? Did they eat breakfast? How are they doing? What do they need? What should you tell them about your own thoughts and practices in order to model a healthy mindset and healthy lifestyle?
My hope is for us to listen, connect and grow together, whenever we have the capacity to. And for those who do not have the privilege for all this new conversation, working to tackle the biggest health challenge of our generation, we are listening, and recognise your sacrifices for our survival, growth and development.
For more thoughts on connection and teaching mindset education in the classroom, read my blog post on ‘Healthy Thoughts’ in our holistic curriculum model: http://childrenshealthproject.com/what-are-healthy-thoughts
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