Monday, September 24, 2012

Let's NOT Do That!!!

From El malestar en la cultura.     
My cousin posted this on his Facebook and it made me think of me as a teacher of the younger  generations. It made me think as a mother to a new family generation. And boy do I have a responsibility on my hands!

I need to always be thinking of every seed that I plant in the childrens' heads. I need to be cautious of how I pick my words and string my sentences, what opinions I share with them, what feelings and what beliefs for children are very impressionable and would, to a certain age, believe anything I tell them. The size of the responsibility that lies between our weathered adult hands is highly underestimated.

As Freshmen and Sophomores, Arts student at the American University of Beirut, we were required to take four courses (12 credit hour worth) of Civilization Studies. They consisted of a study of every philosopher that I could imagine under the Beirut sun; from Descartes to Hume, Lock to Plato, Aristotle to Al Ghazali. We discussed the existence of God, life and death, how to rule states, ancient epics and many more which was why, after I finished all four, I took another philosophy course. I loved them all however, one philosopher stuck in my mind more than others , John Locke. It was because of a simple idea that we were born with empty sheets of paper for minds and that our experiences were what started that black ink writing on those pages of life.

It made me visualize a dark black pen writing on every page of my life's book. How there were,-and still are- so many people who held that pen and were in full control of it at many points in my life. And now, because I am a mother and a teacher, I could be that hand holding the pencil filled with black ink waiting to make a mark on one of a child's crisp white pages.

This cartoon made me think of how I do not want to be like that teacher, chipping away at children's dreams, beliefs, imagination, goals, opinions and above all I do not want to be the one shaping their thought bubbles into the square I have. I do not want to be the one who molds them to think exactly the way I do. I want them to grow up to think for themselves since that is what helps build character and uniqueness.  However, I would very much like to be the one behind them supporting them in every step that they make, coaching them- but not too protectively- on which road will teach them good lessons and be there for them when that path hurts a little. 

I want to be the one carrying a brightly colored crayon when it is my turn to make a mark.


jan said...

Lana, I know that you will be that one writing in bright colours.

Thank you for this post, I am sure that many parents and teachers who read here, will appreciate this reminder of the precious gifts we hold in our hands for a while.

I am sure they will also be thankful for the reminder of how difficult it is to balance our responsibilities to our young people. x

nice said...

Meaningful and beautiful post; you are right, it feels good to help the children to grow in such a way that they could be able to think independently for themselves, not just imitating their parents, teachers or etc. Future belongs to the children and we will have a better future with the children who are brought up as the free thinkers.