Teaching at Neptune Theatre School
I have been spending the summer months teaching a very special group of children. A new batch come in every week but the feeling stays the same.
I have one week of teaching left for this Season and I have learned three things:
1. Creating a sense of wonder is worth it.
2. Staying present is essential.
3. Children can give or drain energy depending on your attitude.
Wonder is worth it because wonder is what creates a sense of hope. When we have wonder over something, there is a part of our insides that jumps and grows. Creating wonder for children isn't a hard task. It happened when I decided to show up to the first day of work (albeit late after a car breakdown in a major intersection) dressed as a fairy and staying in character all week. It happened when I chose to story tell after all little bodies were tucked in tight and small in a circle with sounds they echoed. (Once Upon a time there was a girl who bumped into a tiger...ROAR...) It happened when, after a busy day of learning they all fell on the blanket and with quiet voices talked about magical things. It happened when fairy dust in the form of glitter was sprinkled over their heads as they wished. It happened.
As adults we loose that sense of wonder so fast, but I found it. It happened when I ate dinner on a beach as the sun was setting and the grey clouds swirled above us. It happened when I tasted the most delicious chocolate peanut butter cup from a local café. It happened when I stepped into a move with a dance partner that was the most in sync we have been in a long time. It happened when I covered Little V's toes in a sandbox.
Staying present is what makes all of these things have meaning. Children don't know how to worry past their next thought. They may worry on a lost item, or something they just remembered they forgot to do, but mostly...they worry on nothing. They are present in the moment. And as one precious four year old who has been taking grammar classes said through a stall door "I didn't quite know it before, but I am going to take longer than I thought. I need to poop." and later again said, when asked to sit up. "Obviously, I am very tired right now."
May I remember to communicate in a way that is real to the present.
How is our attitude towards children?
It is so easy to see how others can be drained by them. They see "responsibility" "work" "annoyance". I see "freedom" "play" and "learning". The days I chose to look at my teaching job with the word "Job", I went home drained. I went home craving a break.
The days I went to my teaching position with the word "Learning". I learned.
I hope they did too.
I am thankful to have experienced these wonderful life lessons this Summer.