by Johanna Fredericks, Bachelor of Education, Perth
Last week I listened to a very real and practical interview with Kristy Wood on the home page of the ‘Kids in Connection’ web site. The interview is a personal sharing about connecting with kids that relates to what many teachers and kids are feeling in classrooms and homes today, and the behaviours that result from that.
Listening to the interview I had many ‘ah-ha’ moments about kids’ behaviour and what is going on in society today with children and the way we (as adults) are being with them. Well worth a listen…
The one aspect from the interview that I would like to focus on and share involves a very simple technique that has a quite powerful purpose and outcome. Kristy spoke about the importance of connecting with kids today and how very little children actually feel met and connected to. She shared that she started the class with a circle where each person was able to share.
I teach a class of children full-time and making it about the kids first has been a real priority for me for many years. Each day I pay attention to the way I prepare the classroom to support the children, how I speak with them and how I move my body. I make sure that each child knows that they are seen and listened to by the way I choose to engage with them from the moment they enter the room to when we say goodbye at the end of the day. I can vouch that connecting with kids first and making the day about how we are in the class leaves very little room for behaviour issues to be an ongoing problem.
So on one level I was already doing what Kristy was suggesting – a community circle was already part of our daily classroom rhythm. However, when I listened to the interview I felt there was more for me to explore. I know that when children (and all people) feel connected to, the environment feels more harmonious. We can always learn and even deepen in the way we connect and relate to others.
When we used to have community circle I always gave the children a mini-topic to relate their sharing to and I limited this to a sentence or two. I have now realised that even though this was still about them, there were rules about what I was asking them to express, i.e.,
- the topic at hand, and
- the ‘one or two sentences’.
What I was doing wasn’t bad and it was about taking a moment to be able to let each child feel heard by all first thing in the morning, to make sure I had looked into the eyes of each child. Naturally this little technique built their confidence to speak in a group and allowed them to be more supportive of each other in their relations during the day.
But there was more for me to look at… Kristy’s words offered me a potential to deepen this connection. I had never thought to say “Just share one thing”.
Also, during this circle time I now sit on the floor with the children, in the circle, as compared to sitting in the circle on a little chair. Both of these little changes have made a HUGE difference in our day. These small changes, which have been done in connection with the kids, are actually making a difference in these children’s lives. They are feeling heard and completely met. This has all come from my willingness to deepen the connection with children in the classroom.
Our class now feels like it is just filled with a group of people who connect, then get on with their different roles… A room full of people of different ages who support each other and who are making an effort with the way they are choosing to be in the room and with each other.
Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
217 thoughts on “A Deeper Connection: Connecting with Kids in the Classroom”
I love the feeling of equality you brought to the classroom Johanna by choosing to sit on the floor with the students.
Yes and it’s fun to remember what it was like as a kid to sit on the floor with a group of children. It is a beautiful holding space when everyone brings a level of care and respect.
And the children naturally have a deeper respect for any adult who is prepared to meet them at their level. It’s wise to remember that we can learn much from children and that it’s not always the other way around.
Absolutely Elizabeth as they’re not seen, felt fully and valued for the bright sparks that they truly are.
This is very beautiful and inspiring to read Johanna, knowing there are teachers like you and Kristy that truly care for children brings a smile to my face.
I love how the little changes you have made make a huge difference. It reminds me to deeply pay attention to the details of how I am with others in every sphere of life.
The principal of connection not only applies to the classroom but every aspect of life. If we sit down and truly listen to how connection can be enhanced between human beings miracles can be made. Just don’t hold back when the opportunity for connecting arises, even if it seems abnormal.
I like how you made it about connection first, letting a child know they are truly seen and valued, that what they have to say is important.
Johanna, it is great to be reminded about the value of connecting with each other including children. They have little bodies but their expression is equally valuable as an adult’s.
I trust that one day Johanna will end up running the education department at least in her state… How extraordinary that would be to have someone running this enormous juggernaut who truly truly cared about children, and not just caring, because many do, but with such a wealth of practical experience about how to bring out the best in our children
I absolutely agree..”I can vouch that connecting with kids first and making the day about how we are in the class leaves very little room for behaviour issues to be an ongoing problem.” I find when I am out, they feel out and when I am connected to me, it makes way for opportunities for the kids to connect with themselves with ease. Time and time again this has been proven to me.
I’m really struck by your open ness Johanna… while you are obviously making alot of effort to engage with the kids already, you are so open here to what is being offered by Kristy. A willingness to take the next step and evolve.
Beautiful and inspiring Johanna. ‘We can always learn and even deepen in the way we connect and relate to others.’ Thank you.
This is lovely Johanna. To understand and bring focus and awareness to the power of truly connecting to someone can never be underestimated. To bring that to each child in a class of over 25 is glorious – just a glimpse, a brief connection – is life changing to children. We are after all, all human beings who crave love and connection; could the lack of love and connection in education be behind student disengagement? We all know what we are talking about here because we have all felt the lovelessness at one time in our own education. It hurts and feels lonely. How amazing Johanna you are leading the way in presenting what true education is – connecting to children to provide the opportunity for them to connect and discover themselves.
I love the way your own awareness developed through this process, particularly ditching the small chair and becoming ‘one of them’. True equality, true meeting on the same level. Lovely.
I have noticed what a difference it makes when we connect to people at work rather than just focusing on the task at hand. If we make ourselves at least as important as the task at hand it shifts the energy and amount of care we extend to each other.
Good one elainearthey. ‘If we make ourselves at least as important as the task at hand it shifts the energy and amount of care we extend to each other.’
As I read this wonderful blog I was contemplating on how these same principles can be applied to other places, such as at work with colleagues. Perhaps not all sat on the floor, but there are definite times when it is worth taking the time to listen to and connect with each other each day.
This is the microcosmic picture to what happens in our world at large, for the world is forever our classroom and we are each the teachers, peers and students of each other. When we make it about connection first, everything thereafter will be imbued with this quality and expressed forth out to the world. And what we express out, naturally, is reflected back. If we start with connection, we build harmony and it is this harmony that will then permeate every facet of our society, particularly if it is fostered from when we are young. Thankyou Johanna, for sharing something so simple and so true.
The way you are treating the children in your class is how all children should be treated, more focus on connection and less on competition
I agree Joe. Competition breeds separation and segregation, the death of harmony and connection. When we are seen for who we truly are, we are not left having to prove ourselves to be ‘more’ than the everything we already are.
A very inspirational sharing Johanna – I feel not only do children benefit so much from connecting in this way with each other but us adults we can also learn a thing or two about how communicating in this way is so beneficial. When reading “just share one thing” I was smiling could adults share just one thing early in the morning without going into lots of detail?
Developing a true connection to ourselves and others so we all can express with confidence lays the foundation for a healthy classroom, a healthy home, a healthy workplace… a healthy world. Great blog Johanna.
Thank you Johanna, working with young children I find these practical shadings inspirational.
Wow. There so many problem behaviours and bullying at school these days – what a difference it would make if it was first and foremost about connection in the classroom.
“Our class now feels like it is just filled with a group of people who connect, then get on with their different roles… “ – Wow, this is amazing and so inspiring. School would have been a very different place for me if it had been like this!
Johanna your love for, and dedication to, the children you teach is deeply inspiring. Like you Elodie, I could feel the increased equality and intimacy sitting on the floor created and, by allowing the children to share something of their own choosing, an opening for a deeper, truer expression. This is a far cry from the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ attitude that was around when I was growing up. We are all teachers, we all have much to offer each other by way of love and lived experience. Through true unguarded expression we understand ourselves and others and connect more deeply to who we innately are. Thank you Johanna and Christy for this ‘lesson’ in love, equality and truly meeting others.
What a blessing for the children that you and Kristy teach, Johanna. The future of education now!
Awesome Johanna. I really felt the difference it made when you sat with the children on the floor as opposed to sitting on a chair, which would have separated you as an adult from them as kids. This one little move, I can imagine, instantly makes the children feel an equalness between all which allows that connection to be deeper and more joyful. So great!
Little things do make a huge difference Johanna. The simplicity of a conversation has the power to change everything.
Absolutely children are missing the connection with people and the results are all around us. Kids are not lighthearted any more, and are caught in the world of social media and the likes, trying their to be met and considered for who they are. I see kids in pain and really with no where to turn for true support anymore. The adults are just as caught in their busy lives and many do not have the time to spend even for a short period without distraction with their children.
I know with my kids that they could tell the difference between when we actually met them, and when we were ‘trying’ or just plain ignoring them. The difference in how they responded was extraordinary, and I am sure that would be massive when applied across a whole class room as well.
I have been reflecting on my relationships at work and how to bring more of ‘me’ to each of those relationships, to bring what I have learnt about connecting to me first and the difference that has made in my life. Reading your blog Johanna, I realise that there is nothing more I need to bring, but simply be present with all of me. It will be in that presence, and the absolute appreciation of those I am with, absolute acceptance of what unfolds and absolute love in meeting them, that is the ‘Way’. Thank you for being the messenger of what I needed confirmed.
This is a whole new way of teaching our kids, from connection first.
As Serge has said before, what we remember from school are the teachers well before the lesson itself. That is so true for me, and the stronger my connection was with the teacher, the more I remember from those classes, because I felt I was part of the lesson and not someone just listening in.
Connecting with children and making them feel truly met is so vital for their well being as it is for everyone. If they are met and cared for this way, this is the measure of how we should be in the world, and children brought up this way have the ability to change the world simply by truly ‘meeting’ the next generation.
Allowing the children to be able to express themselves without any reservations or fear of being judged, is a wonderful foundation for the kids to have through their schooling and that they will benefit from long after their school years are over. Connecting with kids in the classroom is a truly inspiring way of teaching that brings fun back into learning. This is great, Johanna your demonstrating a way of teaching, that other teachers may choose as their way also.
A beautiful sharing Johanna. ‘A room full of people of different ages who support each other and who are making an effort with the way they are choosing to be in the room and with each other.’ – amazing and a beautiful reflection of how this harmony can be lived in the world when we all choose to connect deeper with ourselves and each other. Truly inspiring.
A great blog Johanna and your commitment to truly connect with the kids is deeply felt. How beautiful if all teachers took this care and love in all the schools, thank you Johanna and Kristy for leading the way and inspiring others to make similar choices.
This feels gorgeous, letting every child share what they want to share, not confined to a topic. Which as I feel does make it often more difficult to express, because there is something imposed from outside of me what sometimes just doesn’t suit what I want to express.
This is awesome..”We can always learn and even deepen in the way we connect and relate to others.” I will make this my choice within my own classes and indeed my own life from now on…Starting with ME!
I loved reading your blog Johanna. From doing these simple things each morning, you have created a wonderful environment for the children, and one in which they feel your connection and support.
Johanna that was a great joy to read your amazing blog. I also could feel a bit of sadness – sadness about the fact that I was not taught in school about this beautiful connection. I always missed something when I was at school – school was in a way cold and hard – and that I did not like. When I read your blog I could feel what I was missing – the connection! How important it is that you and Kristy have introduce such a way of being in a class room
Thank you Johanna for sharing, it was so beautiful the connection you were able to make with these children, isn’t this what we long for, to be truly seen and met.
I know that it’s not the same as a teacher who has to be present every day, communicating and meeting the children, and to whom I continually feel a great sense of appreciation, but I do teach children sometimes in primary schools mainly, and quite often 400 or so at one time. As you say Johanna, the essence of what I do is to make sure I ‘connect with” or ‘ meet” as many children as possible as they come in the door… That’s when the magic happens, and when this happens, we can just spend the rest of the time having as much fun as possible singing and expressing.
I agree Linda, if this way of connecting to children in the classroom was implemented in every school imagine the amazing changes. If this was also applied in every home with how parents connect to their children it would be profound. What Johanna is doing is incredible and this will impact so many children’s lives in such a supportive and loving way. This is such a joy to read and to feel the amazing changes we can all bring to society when we choose to connect with ourselves and with others.
This is an amazing blog Johanna. I feel I will definitely apply this incredible way of connecting with my own children. From reading your blog, it highlights how little time I actually spend during the day to truly connect with my children. I get frustrated when they misbehave but there is a reason for that. Wow! I am totally inspired to start my day with my children in a different way. It is so beautiful to read how you are with the children in your classroom. This is so supportive for everyone to read, not only do we lack true connection to children but to ourselves, adults and people in general. I am extremely inspired, thank you!
Johanna I love what you have shared here. It shows us all that the simplest things make all the difference.
A lovely sharing Johanna and one that I can relate too (as I’m sure many of us can) Having grandchildren of differing age groups I still like to get down to their eye level and engage with them that feeling of being heard and completely met just opens up a whole new level of communication.
So beautiful Marion, it must be awesome to be with your grandchildren in this way. I have a niece and so love the connection we have, even though physically we may only come together once a month.
I agree Marion when children are met they open up to a whole new level of communication, the key thing is they have to feel met that is so important.
Reading this beautiful blog makes so much sense to me… ”connecting with kids first and making the day about how we are in the class” is desperately needed in our schools. I know I would have certainly found school to be a much more enjoyable place to be in if I’d had this connection.
The love and connection Johanna is bringing into her classroom is a blessing. When I was around 10 or 11 years old, my teacher was amazing. I could feel how much she loved every single one of us in the class, we all felt the love and support. We all felt a deep connection with her. There are amazing teachers out there that truly cares and love what they do. When a child gets to experience being heard, being loved and supported from their teacher they really cherish that and remember the experience.
Thank you chanly88. This is a great sharing as, though you experienced this as a child, it shows how the teacher then had an impact on you as you remember the love and support you felt. It is inspiring to read how there have always been teachers like this around.
It feels so important to connect with them, how we are with kids today is how they will be in life tomorrow. I agree Caroline, the school would have been much more enjoyable place to be for me as well!
I know what I really missed at boarding school was that feeling of being met.. of knowing there was someone who I could open up to without fear. What a blessing for these kids.
Thank you Johanna, they are such simple things to consider but I could feel through your blog the impact they had had on the children in your classroom. It is strange to be able to feel through your words that they are so clearly NOT just words. You are sharing from your lived experience and I can now feel that this is something to feel in other words of advice about how to teach and be with children… in fact in all areas. I am not sure it is what was intended with this blog but it is profound for me so much appreciation!
I agree whole heart-edly Lucy, Johanna’s sharing is showing us all that simply meeting people, young or old, or in between, is what is so very needed in the way we communicate and connect.
It’s the quality in the simpleness that rings true to how you have been connecting to the children you teach. This is the part that needs to be appreciated again and again.
This is a beautiful thing, in education there is often so little room to really connect and share what you care about. So its amazing that you give those kids the opportunity to feel met and connect.
Absolutely agree Benkt, education is full of concepts, methodologies and ideas how to better teach and get the kids to store the learned material, but nobody ever really connects with them making it about them, the kids, the people and not the system of education. What is missing in education is the connection and love that is our foundation for everything.
This sounds amazing Johanna. Can you imagine if all children where schooled this way? It would drastically change the amount of people who find it hard speaking in groups or doing presentations. It would help them to feel so much more at ease in expressing in their own body. What an awesome gift !
I love your description of the classroom as ‘A room full of people of different ages who support each other and who are making an effort with the way they are choosing to be in the room and with each other.’ How beautiful is that! It equally applies to our workplaces and homes. Thank you for this inspirational blog Johanna.
It would be great to do this in every work setting as adults before we start our working day.
What this shows is that connection brings true equality. Thank you Johanna.
Connection first (1)! Allowing children to express without constriction is a very special thing as the education system rarely allows this and is always under a topic or theme.
This develops a level of confidence that says ‘what you have to share means something no matter if it is related to the class topic’.
Very beautiful sharing Johanna. Connection is everything and school is generally a place where they disconnect from themselves and their bodies as they are asked to go into their mind. So what you share is GOLD and should be read by every teacher and educational expert or policy makers to really get to the root about what education truly is.
Johanna, the importance of meeting children at their own level, gives them so much more confidence and permission to be themselves. All too often parents are too busy, and don’t have time to sit and have a conversation with their child, and it’s become easier just to put the television on for them.
If we honor the fact that kids are no less than smaller sized grown ups we do have the key. Respect and love to the fact that they have from their point of view on life – just as we do – problems, worries and hurts. To meet them eye to eye is true equal.
I can truly feel you and your impact in your blog- the kids who get taking care of you are very lucky 🙂
So so simple and so actual ‘normal’ it feels when you share this with us. What struck me was: ” I can vouch that connecting with kids first and making the day about how we are in the class leaves very little room for behaviour issues to be an ongoing problem.” Could this also be our answer to behaviour issues?, would my question be. It is so awesome. This is a new way of teaching, even though teaching is also teaching very practical stuff. This feels so cruciaal and important. Lets try this out everywhere we can in the world, i bet we see changes within a split second and many problems are not even occuring. Love this valuable piece, and also love the work of Kristy Wood and would highly recommend it. Thank you Johanna Fredericks, you brought a lovely & wise teaching to the world.
Thank you Johanna Fredericks for this blog that is written with so much love to the children you have in your class. There is so much more to teaching than I have been aware of. Being at school in a class has an impact on the rest of our lives in how we are with people in the same room and, what you do Johanna, must be such a blessing for the children you work with. They are blessed by being introduced to a true way of living and being together that will be with them for the rest of there life and, everybody they will meet later on, will be affected by that spark of light and so this will be spread into the world.
The way you teach is inspirational and deeply touching especially knowing how true connection is rarely encouraged or deepened anywhere, let alone in school. This was truly beautiful to read and I can only imagine, gorgeous and enormously supportive for the kids to experience.
Is there any room in your classroom for me a big kid , Johanna?
Sounds like a beautiful way to meet the children and allow them to learn to express themselves with truth and love .
This is awesome Johanna. Life is about building loving connections and the commitment and love you share with your students will impact them for life. Fantastic.
I agree Kelly – the value of our connection with others will become foundational and what these kids consider normal – and in our society that is increasingly anonymous and segregated – this is a true blessing.
An awesome blog Johanna. It sounds like you have a wonderful connection with all the children and your willingness to take it to a deeper level is inspiring.
For the most part life as children see it is very simple so for us to complicate or take away from this glorious simplicity is a huge disservice. Thank you for mentioning the interview, I am going to it now.
That sounds like a lovely class to be a part of. That’s pretty amazing that in a class like that where you meet all of the children so they know they are seen and heard as equals, that you don’t have on-going behaviour problems… that’s something well worth sharing.
I am so inspired reading this blog – the way you support the kids in the classroom is amazing. Connecting with kids on this deeper level is what is missing in so many schools and in families these days, how awesome teachers like you and Kristy are leading the way.
Johanna I could really feel your love and commitment, not only with the connection and beauty of your classroom…. but with the world.
You are very inspiring and this is much needed. THANK YOU. 🙂
Very inspiring Johanna! Such a lovely way to start a day at school! I am currently dealing with High School kids most of whom come every day tired, grumpy, checked out, etc. They are the end result of not being met. Your stiudents get a real blessing. They will never forget you because you taught them not to forget themselves.
‘They will never forget you because you taught them not to forget themselves.’ And from there they can explore any aspect of the education of life in the solidity of knowing who they are. The best gift any teacher can share.
Little things like sitting on the floor in an equal position to everyone else and allowing each child to share something and maybe yourself too brings a potential to go deeper. This supports our connections with each other and also support for one another to blossom. It feels like your classroom is evolving and a really lovely place to be.
Johanna I got a real sense of you ‘going deeper in towards the heart’ of the child in allowing them to express whatever they like. It really feels like a flow both ways, you going in to meet their innermost and their innermost coming out to meet you. Glorious x
Awesome to read of you putting yourself on the floor with the children in circle time, I have also found children are more responsive when I don’t put myself above them or talk down to them. The more they feel valued the better the outcome for the children. It feels like you are creating a classroom of responsible citizens Johanna, great to read your sharing.
Yes! I have always found children more responsive when you come down to their level. It’s interesting because you are literally coming down to their level but also there is often a inequality of power among teachers and children where the teacher holds themselves above them, and just as when you literally come down to their level, when you see yourself as not above the child it is deeply felt
I especially loved this part Johanna.. “Also, during this circle time I now sit on the floor with the children, in the circle, as compared to sitting in the circle on a little chair” as it feels completely equalising sitting on the floor with the kids and not seated in any other hierarchy. This ‘sitting’ can be applied symbolically to every relationship we have professionally as well as personally.
Yes Zofia whenever someone approaches an interaction in humility and equality it is deeply felt and allows for the possibility of true connection.
Thank you Johanna for this inspirational blog. It is so important to meet everyone on a level of equality, regardless of role, position or age.
Stopping each day and looking into someone’s eyes to connect is such a great feeling. Thanks for sharing this experience in your classroom and how this can lend itself to any workplace or home.
Looking someone in the eyes is such a beautiful way of connecting and being with the person, especially when you really allow yourself to hold them with your eyes – something that we don’t do enough of with children, but also with adults, friends, family and our own partners too – I can certainly say that though I make a focus of connecting with my eyes and how I am with the people I encounter at work, I do tend to slack off and forget to give this same to my family at home, often under the guise of being tired, or having too much on etc. This is not something that is particularly pleasant to realise, but now I know I have something to work on: so…dear family, hold onto your hats now, I will certainly ‘see’ what wonders I can work at home with you all…
As others have commented the small changes may seem small but every detail counts and affects the whole. Thank you Johanna for some practical tips for being with children, something I will take into my volunteering job and thank you for the link to Kids in Connection.
I agree leighmatson, the link to Kids in Connection and the interview with Kristy Wood sounds like something we big kids may well enjoy.
Thank you Johanna, your classroom feels fun and harmonious. I also work with children and there are some inspiring tips shared here to help deepen this connection :).
Very inspiring Johanna. What a difference simple changes can make, establishing a deeper connection with children.
Such simple changes having such a profound effect. It would be lovely to be a kid in your classroom. Thanks Johanna. I have listened to the interview you mentioned on Kids in Connection and really enjoyed Kristys approach. Well worth a listen as well.
Gorgeous Johanna … I’d love to be in your classroom … People in connection feeling how and where they are in the day .. Yum!
Lovely blog Johanna, these are simple practical ideas that you share and it’s amazing how they can make such a huge difference in deepening the connection with children. Well done.
Such a beautiful sharing Johanna, and so simple. I too work with children and begin our day with a sharing circle, where we all sit together on the floor – it feels like such a lovely way to connect before our play begins. I love what you share that “there was more for me to look at… Kristy’s words offered me a potential to deepen this connection. I had never thought to say “Just share one thing”. It feels like this offers everyone the opportunity to open up and share something important to them – what a beautiful way to begin your day. Thanks for the inspiration!
Lovely blog Johanna, something we can take to all our relationships in life not just children.
Gorgeous and inspiring sharing, so beautiful, I can just see you sitting in a circle on the floor with all those kids. Looking them into the eyes and truly connecting I will take this into my day, thank you.
Very touching, Johanna, great share. I take it with me for my work with…grown up kids, people like you and me.
Yes Caroline this is a great share. Feeling met and being able to connect with others so you can express with confidence is as equally important for both the little people and big people of the world – and yes I agree we can easily take this to our own workplaces and own homes.
It is the small changes, however small that can make a huge difference in the classroom and which really support the children and they in turn will feel this too. It is heart warming as Doug mentioned that you are making it all about connection with the children first, and is very inspiring.
Thank you, Johanna for sharing these simple suggestions for a deeper connection with children. We have recently had our very young grandson staying with us for a few days and I could feel the difference when I sat on the floor and played with him rather than sitting in a chair. When I was also sitting on the floor, we were playing together.
I love your blog Johanna. It’s so beautiful to read how you are with these children. From my experience of education i’ve often read how teachers are to have ‘high expectations’ of the children they teach. And yet there is a degree of controlling the children that is introduced to prevent and or deal with behaviour issues. I suspect many in education wouldn’t believe that a class could be so harmonious as the class I feel you describe. Simply gorgeous.
It is lovely to re-connect with this beautiful blog and be reminded that ‘We can always learn and even deepen in the way we connect and relate to others’. I know when I first began to look at the way that I expressed I was only looking at the words – and as your blog says it is so much more than this. It is the way that I hold my body, my facial expressions, my tone of voice and my hand gestures – and whether I am truly connected to me – or whether I am always anticipating the next move.
I love that you put it this way Doug ‘ … at the expense of the children the system is there to serve …’ It’s because we haven’t set up the system to serve the children that it is the way it is today. Thankfully we have Johanna and others who go to school to meet the children so they have a chance of growing up confident in who they are.
How lovely Johanna. I tell you the children you work with are so blessed to have you as their teacher, but I bet you feel the same about them. Reading your blogs on teaching inspires us to bring these qualities into any profession we work in. Thank you Johanna.
I love the last line, how it feels like a room full of people just getting on and supporting each other. I really get the importance of talking to children on the same level, not talking down or at children but as the equals that they are. A super important topic.
Johanna your blog was very interesting to read. It’s great that you are open and willing to keep making adjustments to how you do things so that you can deepen the connection you share in your classroom.
This is awesome Johanna. Whatever age a person is they deserve to be met. You are offering these children an opportunity to develop an awareness to know and feel what it is to truly meet another. Very inspirational.
Well said Tim, I fully agree with you, what Johanna is offering is priceless and as you say, people of all ages deserve to be truly met for who they are.
Well said Tim. what I feel is also so inspirational in this article is your willingness, Johanna, not to just accept what is working but to keep looking to go deeper – and how by making the two little changes, that happened. I am sure you have not stopped there but have deepened further since writing this. This going deeper is something we can all take into our everyday living. When I do that I find it so enhancing.
So beautiful, simple and practical. Allowing them to share just one thing and meeting them in the eye, awesome. I can feel how powerful this would be for each and every child and how well it would prepare these kids with confidence for the rest of their lives. It is something that can be used with every parent asking the one simple question, “Share just one thing” meet the child in the eye in that moment, together in a little circle. How powerful this would be as a family. I am really inspired and we will be taking this on when we have children. I can see this as being really powerful technique for adopters too, to help them build an connection with their child.
Hi Johanna I love how you have made the commitment to the children to connect with them and your willingness to look at how to take it deeper. I love how you now sit of the floor with them, it must be a joy for the kids to be in your class. I will now go and listen to the interview too. I am sure I could learn from this, it is often the simplest things that can make the biggest difference, a truly inspirational blog, thank you Johanna.
This is great Johanna. Thank you for sharing this blog as I have now listened to the interview you speak of and found it a huge inspiration. Simple and effective techniques that make a huge difference to children. I love how the interview covers how we can fall in to not fully connecting with children (and adults too) as we find ourselves busy trying to reach a goal and it seems like we have blinkers on as we see only the goal and not who is around us as we proceed at speed through the day.
Again thank you, a hugely inspirational blog and one to share.
I love how two simple changes made a difference in the classroom and also even though there was already a connection established with the children that you were willing to accept there could be more and deeply so. Beautiful and an inspiration – Thank you, Johanna.
Thank you Johanna and Julie, I agree, there can always be more and when we open up and allow children to express, then who knows what may happen? Maybe they will run the class and the teacher just supervise.
This is an amazing example of how it can be in classrooms, and what I find interesting here is that this example can be followed into adult life and work places. How amazing would the world be if that is how everyone acted and treated each other at home, work and at school. “Amazing I say”.
Exactly Amina for us to develop that quality of connection and make it the norm when we are young, it allows us to know how to bring that connection and quality of relationship alive when we are adults.
It’s beautiful to read Johanna, the concept of sitting in the circle and meeting each child as they “share just one thing” and the flow on effect that has on the daily functioning of the class. Supporting each other and how they choose to be in the class, and with each other. Feels like an amazing classroom to be in connection with!
I agree Paul and Mary. Children sharing in this way is so beautiful even if they feel there is nothing to say that day; it simply allows them to be who they are. Expressing and communicating I found very difficult from a young age so to simply “just share one thing” in a loving and supportive environment with no pressure to share or not would have been such a profound foundation to build on.
I love this. I’ve been going into my local primary school in the UK for a few years now, to listen to the children read one to one, or do whatever is needed in the classroom and just love to connect with the children. I also asked to be called by my first name, unlike the others who are Mrs or Miss so and so. It feels much more equal that way. I feel inspired by your post and intend to connect deeper when I move to a new area soon and find a new school to volunteer in.
Thank you Johanna for this beautiful and inspiring blog. I can really feel the ‘wholeness’ coming in when you say you now sit down on the floor with the children and ask them to share one thing – this lets them know to select something and yet doesn’t limit them.
I have recently encountered (when doing some tutoring for HSC students) that some students have trouble putting a couple of sentences together when they are wanting to express. It would be so great to have teachers lovingly allowing them to express at an early age so that their confidence is not lost.
Do any of the children ever say that they haven’t anything to share that day?
So simple and yet so beautiful.
I agree, I love reading about simple, practical little changes people make – and hearing about the amazing differences it makes to their lives and the lives of the people around them. Thank you for sharing, Johanna
Me too Cheryl, It is extremely inspiring to read how people are making simple, practical yet extremely profound changes in their lives and the knock-on effects that is having.