I wonder though if we are teaching enough about the inside spaces – the child’s mind, our own mind. This is a less obvious but equally important space and from this we find we need less extravagant and extraordinary places to take the children too. We want to refine the capacities for awareness before we can refine the senses and not all of the children we are working with are coming from ideal backgrounds. To be aware we need to feel safe, included and respected so we can let our defences down and let the world in.
As teachers, carers and parents we need to do this for ourselves and model it to the children. I’ve been on so many trainings where we say, ‘I have no time to observe’, ‘I know we need to go slowly, but I can’t today’, so we tell the children to ‘go slowly’, we kindly encourage them to take their time while not stopping to drink water all day or withholding bathroom breaks from ourselves. No wonder we end up so tired, exhausted, overwhelmed and crabby towards the children and ourselves by the end of the day. Instead of adding ‘slow down’ to the list of demands we are making on ourselves, we need to work on our inner space too.
There are a few methods I have found to help with this and for myself I would like to see me putting them into practice this academic year, but I wish to say, ‘I’m unsure how I will’, our culture does not help us to slow down, our managers, colleagues, parents and the children themselves do not, so we need help from our community and from anyone outside it who can influence us.