If we don’t start to acknowledge the necessity of human connectedness our children will lose sight of the importance of meaningful relationships, and the positive impact they have on a person’s life. These relationships increase longevity, and help to improve overall health.
More than just Academia
Children attend school in preparation for the future that is in store for them. This is not only in an academic sense, but also socially, emotionally and physically. They learn to collaborate, socialize, concentrate, negotiate, comply to rules, listen, speak up and practice their knowledge. As you can see, this is a well-rounded skillset that is necessary for functioning productively in everyday life.
For this reason, it is important to remember that school life is much more than receiving high marks on tests and assignments. School is the environment in which our children learn to coexist amongst others, and where they begin preparing for adulthood. Teachers have such an important job, and I wish they would receive more acknowledgement than they often do. They not only teach children about math, science and religion, but they also teach children to feel good about themselves.
I spent ten years working with children in a classroom. Having the opportunity to connect with so many amazing individuals was a life changing experience for me, because it showed me firsthand how much there was to understand human differences in all of its nuances. It was in the classroom where I learned what truly mattered in the long run. I witnessed children striving to do their very best, observed how relationships were built and torn apart, how children learn in different ways, and the strong correlation between issues at home and the ability to learn. I saw children flourish and I saw children fade as a result of unhealthy home lives. Through it all, I was there with them. I learned to keep calm when necessary, and I learned how important it is to believe in a child with my entire being, even when they themselves are questioning their own self worth. I learned about life as it is in different families, and I gave my heart to all of the children, because we shared our life with each other day in and day out.
My time as a teacher taught me about life and how important it is that we meet children with a human warmth and sincerity. They need role models who aren’t afraid to be human, while still earning respect, trust and acknowledgement as their teachers. The years I spent in the classroom were ones of true growth for myself, as well as for the children, which is why it breaks my heart to see the societal shift in attitude towards schooling. When I hear about the overarching emphasis on top grades and trophies from teachers and parents, I can’t help but feel unsettled. Increasing stress, anxiety and depression levels is not worth the pressure to succeed purely from an academic standpoint. Have we completely lost sight of what is important?
Building Classroom Unity
Featured in Psychology Today. Read the full article here