Sometimes we just race along through our educational lives without taking a moment to pause and take breath. As teachers we frequently rush to meet curriculum requirements, to get a topic ‘covered’, to meet the increasing demands of the newest trends of literacy, numeracy and self evaluation as we struggle to meet the most recent Government whims.
When you are caught up in that frantic treadmill, it is very easy to forget what it is exactly you want to do as a teacher. You might forget the passion that brought you into the profession in the busyness of the day and lose your sense of purpose and connection. You may try to cling to mindless exercises in ticking boxes to give you a sense of achievement. Frequently ticking boxes can be a frustrating process not only because you may not be able to tick the prescribed boxes with honesty and integrity but also because these particular boxes may have little to do with people or how they learn.
I am calling for a pause…a moment to take a breath…and to put aside the checklists and busyness for a moment.
Just think about one of your students for a few moments, somebody who needs a little help with something perhaps, and imagine how you can do something in your everyday work that can help them. As you visualise yourself working alongside this student in a way that will help them, make the decision to actually do this tomorrow.
Even pausing to think about one student as a real living being, and not as a statistic in a standardised test, can go some way towards helping return to us some sense of the ultimate importance of the human connection in teaching and learning; of holism in education; of the ‘I – Thou’ relationships that Buber talks about.
Take the pause, breathe in and wait for inspiration.