Teachers hold the children of this planet in the palms of their hands. Their jobs are multi-faceted and vital not just for the children they teach, but for the future we all seek. There are very few routine days in a classroom. Teachers learn early that plans go awry quickly for a million different reasons.
The really extraordinary creative teachers learn to handle the chaos of the world, the educational system and their classrooms with the grace of a gifted dancer. They make teaching look easy. They are the ones who know at some level that great teaching is an art that takes timing, hard work, compassion, great observation and communication skills. They must use their creative talents as they engage their students at all levels daily.
Factory education does not meet the needs of children or teachers. In the classroom “one size does not fit all.” This dilemma has plagued education ever since we gave up the one room schoolhouse. A creative teacher is much like a master director or conductor of an orchestra bringing many different instruments and musicians together in harmony. It takes wisdom, patience, kindness and vision. The clear vision of what a child could be and what their hidden talents are is a vital component to authentic teaching and true education.
The key to all of this important work is the well being, balance and happiness of the teachers themselves so they can do their work with grace and joy. The scientific term “chaos” refers to an underlying interconnectedness that exists in apparently random events. Chaos science focuses on hidden patterns and rules for how the unpredictable leads to the new. They use
examples like hurricanes, rivers, galaxies and even down to the smallest cells and neurons in our bodies and brains.
I once heard Deepak Chopra tell a story about someone looking at Grand Central Station in New York City from a short distance away. Everything looks normal trains and people are moving around in an orderly fashion, and then a voice calls out track changes for several trains. All of a sudden it appears as though everything is in chaos. People change directions, some running frantically. Yet as he pointed out there was an underlying order to the patterns emerging in the train station that the observer did not understand. So it is with chaos…there may be an underlying pattern to all the Universe that we still do not see.
I highly recommend a book by John Briggs and F. David Peat Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. It is an easy and enjoyable book that explains chaos in our lives and hints at the processes in the Universe (that of course we still don’t have a clue, but it is fun to think about.)