Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Primum non retardabit

I would categorize artists, teachers, health providers, drill instructors, and shamans as healers.

(Why not doctors? Doctors are more like engineers. They look for the closest solution to a problem and apply. Oftentimes that solution is a square peg for a round hole, and they force and mutilate the problem to fit the solution. Mathematicians do that too).

Not that I consider myself a teacher, at least, not as my primary role, but I do wear that hat a lot. And I think teachers, as healers, see a huge gaping wound in the head at the beginning of life called Ignorance, and try to heal it.

My primary role as I see it? The archetype known as Uncle John, which is to keep the kiddies (ages zero to one hundred) safe. Keep them safe, so they can have fun. So they can play. Because if you can't play, you can't learn.

Play involves some strictures, but nothing to actually hobble play. Nothing to retard it. You have to set up edges of the envelop, and then be ready to let the edges be stretched a bit. Play also involves a bit of tailoring to the person. Not everyone is going to appreciate the type or level of play that others thrive on. You can't predict what type of play will make them  thrive, but you can make corrections for when they are hindered. And so, first, do not hinder.

That's a very difficult thing to do. And since I'm not a particularly good diagnostician, in that I am self-centered enough not to recognize when people are not having the kind of fun I consider fun. So I do not think of myself as a nurturing teacher, but rather, an uncle who will only occasionally say no.

And also, usually, show them how they can get hurt, or into trouble, and that is best done by leading by example.

Still, it is very rewarding when, after you've scared them a little to not stray too far outside the playground boundaries, and get them set up, that you can walk away and say: "You know what to do".

1 comment:

  1. Drill instructors? Oh yeah! They have a different notion of safety and play, but the pedagogic principles are the same.

    ReplyDelete