Presenting to teachers yesterday took me straight back to my consultancy days. It could have been any staff room in any British school. The fears and concerns were the same. The resistance to change, the challenges of balancing the pressure of delivering the curriculum with the pastoral element of the job. The condemnation of some children by some teachers, the lack of understanding of how profoundly teachers affect children’s lives.
I could see the ones who were prepared to think a little differently about their role, and those who had dug their heels in. I could see the thought bubbles above their heads ‘it was OK for you to spout greater understanding and flexibility because you don’t have to deal with the kids in my class.’ I knew well enough that I wasn’t going to take all of them with me, but as I said to them, if only one out of the 26 that was in the room took on board and used the techniques we’d discussed it would have been worth it for me, because that one will affect hundreds of lives.
Today I did a radio interview for the parenting workshop on Sunday. Many teachers are also parents and I anticipate the parents will come with the same concerns parents in the UK face – how to discipline their children if they’re not allowed to hit them. How to counter the barrage of external influences from TV, films. the internet and peers. Of course the message is the same, with love, understanding and respect. Will the parents be any more receptive to this?
Tonight there’s a pre-festival event – a memorial lecture for the musician ‘Arrow’ on the creative industries. It’ll be an opportunity to meet some of the other visitors who are hear for the festival.