Prior to supporting at COR, I hadn’t heard of the term Gentle Teaching; however, it is the main reason that I wanted to support at COR. Growing up, I knew I wanted to help people, but there is so much more to just helping people. Gentle Teaching has taught me that relationship building is so important when helping people. I have learned that there are many factors that make up building a positive relationship. That is where the four pillars of Gentle Teaching come in. One must first feel safe. When someone feels safe with another person they can open up and create the basis of a strong relationship. I use this with the individuals that I support and with the people in my everyday life. This is a skill I have learned, that I will use in my future practice as a Social Worker, when starting new relationships with my clients. The next pillar is to feel loved. Every person wants to feel loved, valued, and respected. I want the people that I support and work with to feel loved, valued, and respected by me. The next pillar in Gentle Teaching is loving. I love this pillar, as it lets people know that it is okay to show others that you love and care for them. I used this everyday in my personal life and when I’m supporting by letting others give me hugs, high-fives, etc. Everyone desires human connection, and I believe it is so important to make sure people who want human connection, get that. The last pillar is engaged. I think this one is very important. Healthy relationships are ones that have good communication and engagement. I have learned from COR and my studies to have branching conversations with others. This means to not just listen to someone, but to actively listen by making eye contact, asking questions about what the other person is telling you, and being present the entire time. I use these skills with my friends, family, and partner when they are talking to me. I also use these skills when I am supporting, so that the individuals feel heard, valued, and respected. I hope to also use this skill in my future social work career, as I hope to be a counselor one day, and being engaged during a counseling session is very important. I also love that Gentle Teaching doesn’t use the reward/punishment way of altering behavior. By using the four pillars of Gentle Teaching, I hope that the people I support now and, in the future, will change and grow with me, by going at the pace that each individual needs. Gentle Teaching has changed the way I have relationships in my personal and professional life.
COR Family Member