Educating Young Students From The Inside Out

Educating Preschool students from the "Inside Out"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Even-minded and ever-cheerful through thy inner light reflected

Even-minded and ever-cheerful through thy inner light reflected!

One of the spiritual qualities that I like to teach children is how to stay even-minded and cheerful through the ups and downs of life.  For some children, this takes deep practice over the course of many years.  For others, it may take only a few weeks.  Either way, it is worth the trouble to guide our children.

 Many years ago, I had a young child in my classroom that often hid under the table, kicked and shoved the tables and chairs that we used to sit on in the classroom.  This little boy was dear to my heart, but since safety was of utmost importance to me, this was not acceptable. I had to really search within myself to figure out what my next step would be.  I needed to suggest to this child that his behavior was unacceptable—not just unpleasant to others, but unsafe as well.  I knew how smart and intuitive this boy was.  I knew that I needed to be decisive and loving at the same time.

I quickly grabbed a mirror and set it under the table.  Oh, my, did he dislike seeing himself reflected back through the mirror!   When he first saw the mirror, he would not look. Then, slowly, he looked at himself and came out of from under the table. As his temper subsided, we were able to talk about what had happened.

Over the years since then, I have used technique this over and over in my beginning classes with children. I often carry a small mirror in my hand to use when children are present. The mirror can reflect to them their deepest thoughts and fears—as well as provide a reminder of joy in many situations.
These pictures were just taken in my class room .

Two children were playing quietly, connecting and building a castle together.  A third child, who was not expressing anything at the time, came over and knocked down their castle to get their attention.  The third child ran off, while the other two were mesmerized, hurt and confused.  It was a perfect teaching moment.  I grabbed the mirrors, bear puppets, and happy faces that I keep handy. We all sat down together and played a game with the puppets, the faces, and the mirrors.  The children acted out something similar to what had just happened.  Using the puppets, the children created a story about two bears eating their berries, and pushing a third bear out of the way.

  This was a perfect teaching moment as I was reflecting to them the actual events that just occurred. We all began talking about how we felt during our morning in class. How did we enter the class today? Who did we play with? Did we use our words carefully and ask others to play? Were we cheerful? Were we upset in our class when others destroyed our game or did we just rebuild it again?
In my classroom at the Living Wisdom School puppets, mirrors, and happy faces are often used to introduce a story, or clarify a rule in the classroom.  This is age appropriate and a clear way of communicating that children can easily understand.  Acting out different situations is a kind of play that helps to ease tension and increase awareness in Kindergarten and Preschool children.

 This evening, I wanted to dive a little deeper in the spiritual qualities of even-mindedness and cheerfulness for this blog entry.  I turned to a book written by one of my favorite authors, J.Donald Walters.

  In Affirmationsfor Self-Healing, I magically without my former knowledge all these years found this affirmation:

I remain untouched by gain or loss. In the calm mirror of my understanding I behold Thy light reflected.

We can guide our children to the inner truth and light that is reflected within them

There they will find true peace and happiness while enabling them to always be even-minded and cheerful. 

Many Blessings, until next week. 

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