Gentle Teaching Stories:
“Gentle Teaching isn’t a hat you take on and off.”
Gentle Teaching has made a great impact on my life beyond the work I do at COR. Years ago when I first attended the Gentle Teaching training, I was told that “Gentle Teaching isn’t a hat you take on and off.” I didn’t know at the time how those words could apply to me personally as I didn’t understand how to “apply” Gentle Teaching in my daily life, nor did I think that those words would stick with me all these years. However, the moment I realized that Gentle Teaching doesn’t only apply to the relationships I build with the people within COR, but with all people in general, is when the hidden meaning behind the word “hat” came to me.
Using Gentle Teaching in life allows me to ask, “why?” and provides me with the opportunity to view situations from many different angles and try to understand people in the most compassionate and respectful way that I would want to be treated. Instead of walking away from the challenging situations and just giving up. It allows me to reflect on myself and teaches me who I am as a person.
During my pre-internship at a local school, I was able to apply the knowledge, skills, and experiences I gained from COR and bring that into the classroom I was placed in. I had the opportunity to teach and learn from 6 individuals in the FIAP classroom where I was able to create a safe space, and build relationships. “Be the person you needed when you were younger” is a quote that I live by and every day I am gifted with an opportunity to practice this and be that person to someone else. During my first day of school, I was overwhelmed by the number of students coming up to me and telling me how I am their first Asian teacher and that they look forward to spending time with me. Reflecting back on this comment, I myself did not have any Asian teachers growing up in Canada and I think representation is important and should matter to everyone.
We feel a sense of belonging when we see people that look like us being represented in a positive way. Sadly, sometimes more individuals are represented way more than others, some may be only represented in a negative way or, we see no representation of certain groups of people at all. And to me, no representation is still a representation as it’s a tool used towards making certain groups feel suppressed/superior. My biggest goals in life are to be inclusive and to create a safe space so that all people, regardless of who they are, feel that sense of belonging when they are with me.
I look forward to practising Gentle Teaching in my daily life and learning about how I can be a better support and educator to others through my internship. I am so thankful and proud to be a part of COR and all the ways I can represent those who look for representations.
COR family member