We are all afraid of something. Whether its the dark, small spaces that fall in our dreams or neighbors dog! When we meet these, our bodies can respond to the perceived fear of the situation.
Authority or perceived authority is sometimes a big fear provocative. Who remembers the fear of meeting a teacher without the homework being completed? Or fear of a parent who discovered you had not done well in French as they might have expected. Inadvertently, we take this fear with us in adulthood. As adults, we become scared and strange enough, we feel almost entitled to repeat the process without thinking. We fail to think about the consequences this kind of authority had on us as human beings.
In the teaching and learning world, it is common to perceive the teacher as an authority position. Parents teacher meetings can often leave some parents in a little tizzy. When you get home in home, this can be a good fire - a lot! In a moment you are mom or dad and next you are the teacher. Your previous experience of both of these roles will dictate how you see your own role of authority in your childs life.
Fear is a part of life. The trick is to not let it drive us into the decisions we make. Special decision as we make for those we love very much! Here are some things you may want to avoid doing.
What to Avoid:
Avoid making fear-based choices in education for your student - this leaves you as a parent / teacher in a very vulnerable place. Learning a program without being 100% that it is the best fit for your student leaves room for doubt by both parties! Fear of options should not be the only thing that drives your home program. Fear can not maintain a balanced education program.
Avoid making your students sad for fear alone. It can be very difficult to ignore your own motivation if they are only triggered to participate through fear.
Avoid living with fear that your students natural intuition will reveal your weakness. It is often very powerful to share with our students what we find difficult. This gives our students the opportunity to offer their tools and ideas. It also gives them closer to the understanding we are all human.
Do not be afraid to be human. Your childs perception of your authority will not change if you show natural human weakness. That does not mean you make them run throughout the place like wildlife.
Avoid allowing other peoples opinions to influence your ability to prepare and teach your students the way you think best suits their needs. Our fear of what others think may interfere with the natural flow of creative ideas we can have. Opinions of spectators are just that. As parents and 24 hour custodians, we have to make self-confidence decisions that we make for our children.
Having said all these are some things you can consider to do to make sure youre aware of where fear may be lurking in your program.
What to do!
As Arthur Costa shares in habits of anger (2000), it is important to share your child with the importance of persistence, think flexibly, handle impulsive behavior, use humor, listen and understand empathy, thinking, questioning, applying prerequisites to new situations and remains open to continuous learning. Moving from decision of fear, to thinking solutions can ignite much creativity and motivation in your student.
Let your child know that he or she is loved and accepted. Behavior comes and goes. The true spirit of the child is a constant!
Celebrate everything that makes your child unique. After a public outburst of truth from my pretty vocal 4 years old, a passerby quietly shared with me - What seems to be disgusting at 4 is quite attractive at 24!
Choose a program where you believe and your student may be the best. Choosing a program of fear of the options can let both you and your student feel frustrated and alone.
Always be open to continuous learning. Our students / children change every day. One big advantage of teaching at home is that we can understand and make room for these changes. Our teaching can be most effective as it grows with the childs needs.
Throw caution to the wind and fear out the window! There is less to be afraid of when we learn and grow together.