Listen to the child before teaching
TO PARENTS, TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS
LISTEN TO THE CHILD BEFORE YOU TEACH
IF I WERE A CHILD AND YOU WERE LISTENING
HERE IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW
AS I WISH AND WONDER IN MY OWN SILENT WAY
WHAT IS TO BECOME OF ME?
From the day I was born
Perhaps even before
In utter silence,
Known only to me
I wished and I wondered
What I am here for?
Would someone tell me the story?
Of where we come from
Or where we are going
What is my purpose, if any?
In them thar scheme of things?
Am I here to do merriment
like the grasshopper
or live in fear like the squirrel
letting voluptuous summers slip by
so not to fall short
During the winter cold?
No, it just can’t be so
I am here to feel the vicissitudes
of my yearning Soul
urging me to fulfill its goal
I am not merely a fallen leaf
Blowing in the wind
I am part of the whole
Being needed in earnest
to add to its growth
But how would I ever know
unless someone connects me
to our yesterdays
so I too KNOW
where we had been
and what lies ahead
in the yet unknown.
As educators, we need to concentrate on fulfilling that inner longing and thereby
resolving the silent suffering of each and every child the world over. That needs to be our
one and only mission. And for that we need to start by listening to the child and
remembering that no child comes equipped with the knowledge and skills he or
she needs to survive and grow, only with the potential to learn, know and grow
which process is hastened if the child is given access to the knowledge we
have accumulated and is shared with the child in an integrated fashion.
That is the purpose of this Center for Integrative Learning and since the adults have also
not kept up with our evolving knowledge base, they need to learn and refresh
their background also so to be knowledgeable mentors and guides.
The Center for Integrative Learning thus is for everyone, young and old, accomplished or