In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Can Be Taught!.”
What makes a great teacher? I was, a grade 1 ‘outstanding’ tutor of post 16 education for a number of years. Does this make me a great teacher? No. I could play a very good game for 50 minutes. Did it enhance my teaching? No, if anything it took away from my ‘greatness’. Did the observation and grade make an ounce of difference to my students or the perception they had of me? No. So what does make a great teacher?
After 13 years of teaching. I would quite easily answer this question with a bullet pointed list.
• Listening – how many teachers listen? I leant all about my students by listening and observing, I may even go further to say I cared!
• Addressing the students by name – in the over populated classrooms in England some students are overlooked. I always felt it was important to address each student by their name from the day they enquired about my courses. After all, without them I had no job. They needed to know they mattered.
• congruence. I would always work along side the students. I would do the collage, painting, printing. I didn’t dish out orders, I was involved. I demonstrated and let them make their own learning by being part of it.
Will I be remembered for my Grade 1 ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED? I doubt it. From what my student say to me even months after I left the ‘rat race’ of teaching is that I was someone who ‘cared’ to me. That is the best teacher of all xxx
If you have followed my blog you may know that one of my utmost important values in my life is honesty. I have walked away from many a friend or family member who found it impossible to be honesty. Dishonesty by omission is not excluded in this value.
I can write a short blog post or Facebook status, but it would never perfectly described just how integral this core value is to me. I won’t go into the several reasons that could account for this lack of trust as, in truth, what would it solve to drag up past experiences that have shaped the person I am today? Today I try to live honestly in a sadly dishonest world.
The sad thing is I still have that childish belief that other people hold honesty in as much importance as I do. Awareness is marvelous until it extinguishes the hope that people feel the same way. I never cease to be amazed at the behaviour of humans and I came to the conclusion last night that some people are so afraid to live honestly in this world.
Art is a therapy, a friend. You can always trust in creativity and it never lies. Where else could you feel such love, such happiness than being completely and utterly at peace with a collograph or painting?
Definition of Honest from Urban Dictionary
A divine attribute we often wrongly assign to one we admire, but sadly, like telepathy, honesty is a characteristic not inherent in humanity. To be truly and completely honest with someone, one must first be truly and completely honest with one’s self. Since our species is incapable of seeing past its own fears, desires, prejudices, convictions, emotional attachments, memories and flawed perceptions, man is not capable of viewing an unfiltered reality. Every single conclusion a person comes to is first carefully screened and reviewed through a series of subconscious unrelated facets of collective reasoning and thus all humanity is blind to all truth. Thus, no one is truly and completely honest with themselves and thus cannot be truly and completely honest with others. The most anyone can hope to give is their honest opinion. But that’s all it is, an opinion.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Golden Key.” What box would I open? I thought about sitting in on ‘big wig’ business meeting just to make sense of the madness of the business world or ‘rat race’ but would this benefit me in any way? I doubt it and what a waste if I only had one key.
I could think about a box full of the secrets of life but again, would this guarantee a happy contented life or just a life where there was nothing to look forward. A life where the element of surprise and adventure would be lost and there would be no need for hope as you will have the blueprint.
So then, what else?
If I had a golden key, I would unlock the brain of the depressive. I would trace the steps to find the source of where they lost all hope and look at the impact that words had played in their measure of self belief. I would sift through all the wreckage that had build up and search and search to find gems which have been overlooked or easily forgotten when the dark cloud or black dog has got its grip.
I would make a board of all my findings, plaster a wall and surround myself with memories of the positivity in life and bring my back on the path of hope. I would burn the negative findings so that I wouldn’t get enveloped in them again and make a ‘to do’ pile of pieces that I would address when my self belief returned.
The fact is just this though. I have that key already. I have access to all this if I would give myself time and trust in others to help me. The key isn’t hidden, its just been mislaid. When its time, it will appear and I can then unlock ‘infinite precious things’.
Apologies for the absence of my posts. There has been a bereavement among my ‘family’. It is difficult to know what words to say, to be sad for the loss or happy that the person who has gone has no more pain. Words seem insignificant and everyday happenings seem a little duller, almost an inconvenience. You struggle to know the right way to say goodbye or to comfort those still here.
My post tonight is for my ‘sister’ and for the friends and family in my ‘chosen family’ who will miss her terribly. Bless them all.
Death is Nothing at All by Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
On Tuesday Leanne Cole featured images of her cat. The photos were so descriptive that I thought I would do the same with my dog. As I started to take photos I was looking at my 13 year old dog and wondered whether the pics could also feature in the Daily Post Photo Challenge this week entitled ‘Endurance’.
As I took the macro shots of his whitened mouth I thanked him for the endurance he has and the loyalty he has given me as a thank you for rescuing him 10 years ago.
I looked at his paws as he slept and thought of all the wonderful walks that we have had that I might not have done if he wasn’t in my life.
Not everyone is a dog lover, I get that, some choose to have children, I choose to have a dog. My dog rescued me at times when I didn’t know I needed rescuing.
His mannerisms and behaviours have taught me many things about control, upmanship and perception. They intuitively know whether a person/dog is friend or foe and I have always envied the sniff of the bottom to distinguish which!
He has been my teacher, my friend and his endurance to myself and my family has been outstanding. Thanks to Leanne for helping me be grateful for my pooch today and for inspiring me to photograph him in a very different light.
I heard this tonight and what a fabulous way to sum up the belief I can often have with some long held negative thoughts and opinions (bull£&@)) about myself. Quite often these beliefs are like a pair of old slippers, extremely comfortable, well worn and that, for some strange reason, I find reluctant to let go of.
Some beliefs are so ingrained that they have taken on the very steps I walk, the mannerisms I have and almost morph into me. Sometimes I don’t recognise the ‘bullshit’ and, quite often, believe wholeheartedly that what I tell myself, about myself, is the absolute truth. Thank God for perspective, for friends who can stop these thoughts simply by challenging their truths.
In ‘The four C’s’ I spoke about the four types of people I surround myself with today and I am grateful that these people give me a full and honest view of myself in ways that can be both positive and challenging.
I’m not saying I surround myself with people who pat me on the shoulder or continually stroke my ego, but people who care enough it give me the truth.
Another way it has been described recently is that you can surround yourself with so many different people and they are all staring at a beach ball. (Me) Each person has a different view point. Some see red and yellow, some blue and white but they are all seeing the same object/person.
The love affair with my own bull£&@ had to stop at some point. Running away from reality was not successful and it has been only by relying on the help of others that I have been able to start truly living.
A love affair can be something sordid or something truly beautiful. I want to dance through life wearing life like a loose garment, but before I can do that I need to take off the corset of self criticism/abuse or what was so aptly put tonight, bull&@£&. I need to untie the laces that have kept me from facing fears or trying new things and get rid of the limiting beliefs about not being good enough or that I was a ‘beautiful mistake’.
“Happiness is an inside job” said William Arthur Ward and I need to start feeding myself up on positivity and love for myself, from myself. Today I feel the happiest I’ve felt for a long time. A weekend that has been incredible and has shown the truth to me… I am good enough and that isn’t bull)&@&!
*I do not usually use bad language in my blog so please do not stop reading. This quote had to be used without being watered down. Sometimes it needs to be knocked in with a hammer rather than being stroked by a feather.
Had a brilliant day and it has finished as it started, with friends. It’s been a while since I have felt so self indulgent without the feeling of ‘shoulds’.
Today I wanted to spend time with new and old friends who make me feel good about me.
For many years I have held on to ‘friendships’ through obligation. When relationships had clearly run their course, (I see today) I would drag them on wringing out the very last drop. I would always be the rescuer as it gave me a purpose, and when I was no longer needed, I then became a victim who persecuted.
Today I spend time with people who, like me, have travelled the distance. People who have been to very dark places, but who have survived. Despite adversity, and probably because of it, the new and old friends have a greater understanding and compassion for themselves and others. We, together have bonds that are beautiful rather than the chains of obligation of previous years.
Self indulgence today is a gift, to truly allow yourself a day to just be. A day where you can eat cake without worrying about the scales or sit drinking tea knowing that whatever chores need doing, can wait until tomorrow.
What a blessing not to rush through life and to be able to witness the joys of animals or the colours of flowers. Doesn’t this self indulgence sound perfect? Well it is. Just for today.
A perfect day today, a reminder of what lies ahead in my journey from rat race to creativity.
Firstly thank you for all the likes on yesterdays post on ‘Adventure’, It was lovely to be able to share some positivity. Time for some more?
I do not profess to be someone who spends her day pondering the meaning of life, but when I am tuned into life and my awareness is heightened, for some reason I always look for a message. I quite often learn what I should be doing this way rather than keeping myself obsessing about what ‘could be’ or ‘should be’.
Todays walk was just like that. I walked a usual walk with my dog and I always carry a camera with me. Today I noticed that a walkway had been cropped and only weeds remained. I could have put my camera aside but today I didn’t. I found some wonderful delicacies in the weeds, the shapes and forms were amazing and I started to look beyond the weeds.
The message? Look beyond the weeds.
Life may sometimes seems to be full of weeds, lack of interest, unwanted pressures of ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought to’s’. But when I truly look at the aspects of my life that truly are beautiful, the friendships I have that have a common passion for creativity, the man in my life who encourages me to be nothing more but happy, the family members who accept me for me, I have to look beyond what I may feel to the reality of my life. My life is full of delicacies that are simply beautiful. and for that I am truly thankful. What do you find when you look beyond the weeds?