Gentle Teaching Stories:
“It transformed my outlook towards individuals with disabilities.”
July 25, 2023/in, , ,
When I first started working at COR, I was immediately introduced to the concept of Gentle Teaching and its significance to the organization. To me, Gentle Teaching was a distinctive and a mysterious concept. Before joining, my outlook towards the intellectually disabled people was quite honestly, debauched. I could never have even conceptualized the amount of individuality and independence COR gave to the individuals it supported.
Mainstream media and pop cultures’s portrayal of people with disabilities always clouded how I viewed members of the disabled community. With the help of Gentle Teaching and other concepts, I quickly learned that my position was not an authoritative one, but instead that of a friend or close companion.
Gentle Teaching helped me better understand that people with intellectual disabilities should be valued the same as those without intellectual disabilities. In today’s society, on an unjust hierarchical chain, individuals with disabilities are often dismissed or treated less than those without. Gentle Teaching molded my outlook towards such a preposterous hierarchical system.
Rather, it merely adds to their physical characters, which is what makes individuals unique or else if we all looked the same everyone would just be plain and dull.
Some tools of Gentle Teaching helped transformed me in the nine months I have worked here. For instance, our hands; I imagined COR would have a strict no touch policy towards its individuals supported just as many organizations currently do have. Such a frivolous method only further creates a gap of comfortless between the support and individual supported.
Yet, this concept helped me realize it is okay to give out hugs to the individual you are supporting. Every once a while, someone has a bad day and a hug can really ease the burden and perhaps even change the course of the day.
Another tool in Gentle Teaching that helped transform who I am today is our presence. I truly did not realize how crucial this tool is to bringing close two individuals and strengthening the existing bond between them. This started by self-realization of being actively present while supporting. I took my mind away from my life outside of work and created a boundary in which my only concern was with the well-being of my support.
This led me to express genuine emotions of joy and happiness whilst being present for the individual I was supporting. This helped me properly guide the individuals I am supporting through various task towards successful completion, simply being mentally present and aware.
There are far more ways Gentle Teaching has transformed into a completely different person than the one I was when I started supporting at COR. My hope is to further take in the concepts of Gentle Teaching and apply as many as possible in the future
COR Family Member