Today was a fantastic day sharing my vision of hope and harmony for teachers and students from kindergarden to high school.
Introducing the group to the progressive, promising phrase “I am GOOD” brought about intriguing and challenging questions, mainly regarding the switch from “be good” expectations to the knowing that children are already good. Today helped solidify for me that being trained to look out for hypothetical confrontations and problems like, “what problem can happen at recess to make you mad?”; “what problem did happen at recess that made you mad?”; “what did you do about the problem that made you mad at recess?” creates a brick wall around our imaginations. We are unable to reinterpret the meaning of inappropriate behavior, like interruption, as anything but a problem and we focus solely on these problems until they are solved, a subjective term impossible to define. These problems rarely change through rules on the board (do not speak until spoken to) because they are likely anything but intentional, “you ruled that I am not to speak until spoken to, so if I do I have intentionally chosen to.” Actions of children (behavior) are spurred on by stress; excitement and happiness causing impulsive outbursts; fear creating the inability in the brain to follow through with directions, such as stay quiet.
As facts about the brain were revealed, it helped clear the path to change because, since the brain is behavior and the brain is affected by the environment, de-stressing the students through “I AM GOOD” phrases creates environments with feelings of calm. Calm means the stress systems are not activated. In this state, there is no adrenalin, anxiety and frustration. What passes through the body are hormones that promote learning and affection. In this place we no longer have to worry about, or focus on “problems” because we no longer see them as such.