Faith in Schools

iStock_000000840116_SmallI’d like to talk today about faith, and the role it plays in schools, learning, and the all-important test scores by which schools and teachers are measured.

This is actually not a religious conversation, as I believe that religious practices have no place in secular schools.  It could be a spiritual conversation, if by spiritual you mean having an unshakeable belief in the glory of human potential.

I do believe in the light—in the light that shines behind every child’s eyes, assuming that life and failure haven’t yet managed to extinguish it.  And I believe in the light that shines from great teachers passionately sharing their curiosity and their wisdom. But the faith I want to talk about today is the faith that all children can learn. 

Success for every student is a buzz word, but it’s probably also the reason most of us got into teaching in the first place.  I mean, who wants to be a teacher to work really hard, get paid less than we deserve, and then walk around looking at children going: “That one can’t learn!”

But eventually many teachers lose faith in some of their students.  You hear the comments that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or that this child or the other is learning to the best of his or her ability (which really means they’re hardly learning at all).

So where does this loss of faith come from, given that few teachers have it when they walk into their first classroom on the first day of pre-service? Continue reading

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The Song of God

Children are hungry

For the wisdom of the soul,

Such wisdom as they can almost remember.

The song of god still echoes

In their ears,

Their shoulders remember wings.

We who stand in the power

Of half a lifetime’s learning

Need only look with eyes of love

And speak with spirit voices.

Then will we be heard

Then will the children blossom

With the warm rain of our teaching.

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Each Child is God

Each child is god

Come down to walk among us,

Embodiment of

Eternity and love.

Each child is god

Each holds

The wisdom necessary

To shift the earth.

Each carries light—

Her own light

And the light of all.

All children need from us

Is that we see them

Our eyes both clear and mirrored,

Seeing and reflecting

Sun.

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Another Conscious Teacher

Let me introduce you to Pat Cegan, another conscious teacher. Follow the link back to her blog to read one of her stories about serving very special children.

http://patcegan.wordpress.com/in-my-lifetime-8/

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I See You, Teach

I trust you.

You will do what’s right

For the highest good

Of all concerned.

 

I believe in you.

You will sort it through

Until your own wisdom

Comes clear like water.

 

I know you.

You are magnificent.

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Today’s Lesson

Today’s lesson could be compassion:

That deep love that holds connection

Without should,

Playing cards with the homeless

In random sheltering doorways.

 

Today’s lesson could be joy:

Running before the fall wind,

Eyes full of clear air,

Spirits lifting like kites to bright azure amazement.

 

Today’s lesson could be peace:

Small bodies sunk like trees

Into the earth,

Fear leaving like transpiration

Or misplaced mist

Each breath an incantation.

 

Today’s lesson could be art:

The joy of spirit

Recorded forever in crayon ink.

Or perhaps it’s growth–

Tiny roots of change

Pressed into fresh earth,

Fed, watered, and watched

For blossoming.

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Your Child is Not Broken

Your child is not broken,

Rather s/he is on a journey beyond

“fixed.”

What s/he will learn has already been chosen,

Your growth is open for negotiation.

How will you be blessed?

With acceptance,

Compassion,

Or the full knowledge of your own existence?

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Teacher, Honor Thyself

Just Teach

Stop chasing
the test,

Just teach.

Just ask for
your inner wisdom

For the
lesson hanging like ripened fruit and

Ready to
drop.

Just know
when

Your
students are ready to harvest their own imagination,

To make
castles of numbers and paint,

Or spend the
whole day outdoors

Learning the
joy of autumn

As grass and
wind and light.

You have
been chosen as teacher.

You have the
wisdom to teach.

Just teach.

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Effortless Teaching

How to teach without stress

 

Is teaching a hard job?  Does it require effort, long hours, struggles to balance the needs of the classroom with those of personal life?  It has been so, but the planet is shifting, and the choice is ours.

I believe that life can be grace, and ease, and flow: effortless manifestation. This energy is strong within me when I am at home, when I meditate or walk the woods, or settle in my studio to write.

Effortlessness at work, however, feels like more of a challenge.  What does flow look like from the office of a reading specialist?  How can a classroom teacher balance lightly between herself and those she has agreed to teach? Continue reading

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Is Your Classroom Making You Fat?

Coping With the Weight of Our Stuff

I recently changed teaching jobs and moved to a new work location. The suite of rooms I inherited along with the new job description was jam-packed with stuff. Books lined carts and shelves, and filing cabinets held reams and reams of files and papers. Movable shelving was filled with assorted possessions. Every inch of built-in and portable storage was full to overflowing. In short, the rooms looked like that of a teacher.  In my experience, teachers are second only to artists in the density of their belongings.  Old materials, new curricula, found objects, and useful treasures fill the spaces in many classrooms.

But what are the energetic effects of all of those possessions?

They weigh us down. Continue reading

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