By Sonya Whaley, Jan 28 2018 09:19PM
I learned this week that a friend died. Mr C was my old Geography teacher at high school. We became friends after he looked me up on Friends Reunited (back in the day!) and would meet for coffee or beer intermittently in the years to come. He was always interested in what I was up to and always encouraging about anything entrepreneurial. Anyone who knew him knew that he had bagfuls of stories. His tales of hitchhiking to the original Isle of Wight festivals made me wish I was alive in the 60s.
Since learning of his passing, the word ‘teacher’ keeps jumping out at me from the pages of newspapers and websites. Mr C was one of a handful of teachers at my school who offered encouragement over and above the teaching job they were hired to do. They encouraged us to go to Univeristy in a village that did not particularly set its heights high or prize education.
There’s a world out there
Mr S, who taught Drama, would actively tell us we could be anything we wanted to be or do anything we wanted to do. He saw that we lacked the confidence that came naturally to kids from wealthier areas and seemed to see it as his personal mission to right that particular wrong. He coached us, mentored us and put us forward for national competitions. His message: there’s a world out there to be explored.
There is a teacher in all of us. We all have something nurtured and honed that we can share and pass on. There is something especially meaningful about sharing and teaching someone from an upcoming generation. After all, isn’t the core of parenting teaching your own kid how to navigate through life?
And even as we lovingly help our kids with their homework and teach them in a deliberate way, so do our unconscious actions shape them as they unconsciously model us and unwittingly become mini versions of ourselves.
Learning Now Forever
From 0 – 7, our children spend most of their time in Alpha and Theta brainwave cycles, which is the same state as an adult when they are in hypnosis or meditation. These are their programming years and they are walking around in a state of super learning.
That’s why we owe it to our kids to learn tools that help us manage our emotions and behaviours so that they in turn can navigate their path through life as calmly and openly as possible.
The life lesson I took from Mr C is that it is sometimes cut short so make it count for something, like he did when he inspired us school kids. Be curious and follow your heart. Keep music close, no matter what your age. Get drunk every now and again. Give generously of your skills and time. Enjoy life and enjoy people, as he did.