what is our central purpose?
the tools of gentle teaching
The most crucial tool in a culture of gentleness is each caregiver’s words. Our words are not just our words. They are the softness in our face, the tone and rhythm of our voice, the twinkle in our eyes, the reaching out of our arms, and the way we look at those around us. Our words must be uplifting and wrapped in warmth. Each syllable that we emit should be loaded with honor, nobility and love. Our words are our most widely used tool. We have to understand the power of our words, their sounds, and their rhythm.
In the COR culture, words are not used to put down, reprimand, blame or sermonize. They are used to honor, console and uplift. The caregiving tool that is used (or misused) all too often is our words. Caregivers often mistakenly think that their primary role is to convince each person to behave by repeating threats and reiterating blame, and insisting, (“You know better!”) Too often caregivers speak of boring behavioural talk about “good job,” and toss out verbal reprimands (“Hey, stop that!”). These admonitions are not beneficial for self-esteem or creating a caring relationship.
Rather, caregiver’s words should signal feelings of being safe and loved. Marginalized individuals already know when they do ‘wrong.’ What they do not know is that it is good to be with caring people and experience unconditional love. Words are of little use when the person does not know the most basic spiritual lesson in life: to feel safe and loved. No amount of screaming will convince anyone of this important lesson.
Words are a key instrument for peacemaking. Caregivers need to know that all of their interactions with an individual constitute a whole that becomes part of a dialog. A large part of this dialog is simply listening, reading between the lines, understanding each person’s life story and interpreting feelings that underlie actions.
The use of any of the above tools can be challenging, because in many instances caregivers are discouraged from having personal relationships with those whom they serve and support; they are expected to remain objective, professional and emotionally distant from the person in need. COR’s culture of gentleness takes a different path, whereby the key to care giving rests in the depth and warmth of the newly forming relationship.
mentoring a culture of gentleness
To be a Mentor of Gentle Teaching is to be reflective and thoughtful, driven by values of non-violence and justice. A Mentor teaches others how unconditional love triumphs over violence in all its forms.
facts & questions (FAQ’s) about gentle teaching
Answering some of the tough questions posed about Gentle Teaching.
gentle teaching resources
A collection of resources by Dr. John McGee and our colleagues within the Gentle Teaching International (GTI) community.
gentle teaching training
Interested in taking part in our trainings? COR has a number of certified trainers, facilitators and mentors offering numerous educational opportunities for caregivers, educators and health practitioners. Click here to learn more about Gentle Teaching Trainings, along with other educational programs COR offers.