I am almost at the end of my first term back teaching after parental leave and it has been amazing. I’m really enjoying it; I am so much more at ease as a teacher and feel like I can relax into it much more.
I’ve also been thinking about what I had been studying before my little Miss K came along. Today as I waited to have my hair cut I wrote down some thoughts and became excited about pursuing them again. I know this will be a slow process, as I don’t have nearly the same amount of time or mind-space to think deeply on this as I use to. This means that I will leave aside the more structured way of doing things I had pursued before and just focus on journal entries for now.
Something I remembered yesterday (to a student teacher at our school) was that at University we were asked to write about what we felt was important in teaching practice; I wrote about something I called ‘moral core’ at the time. This moral core was a reference point in development, rather than a static or finished encyclopaedia or right and wrong. I felt that if a teacher were able to develop this moral core, many parts of teaching practice would settle naturally.
From the more recent study I have documented here I add to this idea of moral core the fertile earth from which one can develop most in this direction; that is through aesthetic experience and in the classroom context, aesthetic education. This is the area I need to develop clarity of thought and expression as I think this still sounds very vague and I find myself fumbling trying to explain it.
I know for sure that what is most important for me as a teacher is the constant search for and development of personal-philosophy. I believe that the development of this can (to some extent) liberate one from the automatic relational-reactions one may have to children, parents and staff of the school and the workload of teaching. This liberation is not so much to do with freedom (in it’s trivial sense), as it is to do with consciousness and self-knowledge. With the ability to watch one’s self as if from a distance, one can catch unconscious reactions before they occur. It also gives one much more confidence in the natural expression of their Self.
It is truly a privilege and a pleasure to be a class teacher again. I am so looking forward to investigating my teaching practice and philosophy further and hope to share what I do discover with you.