Saturday, May 14, 2005

"and now there's no ti-i-i-i-ime"

Another great post from Lectrice. Not much more to say really, except that she is absolutely right and I must do better!

Time and again children show us that we teach them by our actions, not by words or by crumpled principles. They do not listen to what we say. Children unfailingly look: at what we do.

... These cultures [i.e. public health, the army, policing, teaching, and social work] do not lend themselves to occupational or professional reflection - time is a high pressure commodity, as is energy, when crisis control is your daily bread. The majority of teachers I know spend their evenings and weekends simply attempting to recharge frazzled nerves, rather than musing upon what makes children read, meet deadlines, challenge authority?

Yet these are the very cultures which most need critical reflection to take place, continually threatened by the push and pull of the general public's hour of need, balanced on a knife edge of governmental under-funding and over-targeting.

If we don't reflect, pause, and take a moment to see ourselves in a self-critical light in these public service professions, then we, like Edward Hyde's bookshop customer will inevitably fall guilty of preaching but not teaching. We are judged by what we do. We must therefore assume less about what we do - open our eyes, look, judge, reflect - to see perhaps what damaging roles we too are playing in shaping young people's sense of the world.



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