I teach. That is the work that I do, just enough days a week to pay the bills and to free me for what I truly love to do, which is to write.
I used to love teaching. Honestly, I suppose I still do. I love to see the spirits of the children and to help them to see and know and love themselves. As I contemplate returning to my job after a long spring vacation, I am excited at the thought of a new group I am going to start. This unofficial, lunchtime endeavor gives me a chance to share with eight young girls the self-actualization tools I have learned over the past five years of my spirit journey.
So, that group excites me. It’s not really part of my job description, and I have to give up my own lunch period to schedule it. The rest of my job, however, seems more and more meaningless. I am supposed to sort out the broken children, to give them the skills they need to be able to function and succeed in the educational environment.
I used to believe in the power of that remediation. Now, I am beginning to see that it’s just another form of control and coercion. Do these children really need to know their phonics skills, to be able to answer test questions in perfect paragraphs? Or have well-intentioned people tried to distill the essence of intelligence down into 6 hours of test passages, and set us all to the task of mastering it?
Schools are constricting at a time when the world around us in expanding and changing in un-thought –of ways. Earth has decided to step into a new paradigm, and those of us who are awake are stepping with her. What would conscious education look like?
It would look like classrooms where teachers unafraid to touch their students—where hugs were no longer liabilities.
It would look like mud between the toes and grass stains on pants knees and going out to recess in all weathers.
It would look like food that I would be willing to eat, in a cafeteria where I would be willing to sit and eat it.
It would look like children doing instead of this thing we call learning: children digging and planting and harvesting, children caring for animals and constructing objects of use and beauty.
It would look like more art than math, more engineering than test-taking, and a place to take a nap when you needed it.
In fact, about the only thing I would carry with me into the classrooms of the new earth would be the love I feel for my students, and the way they love me back.