The power of kindness
We all remember that one teacher from school who was always kind in her interactions. Even when we were not being on our best behaviour, she would still have a smile on her face or some gentle words to make her point.
We loved and respected her, and secretly felt safe and comforted in her presence. Her demeanour acted like a balm to our turmoiled souls. It was the power of kindness in action.
How one engages with students when they are young and vulnerable and impressionable, can make all the all the difference to their often confused lives. They inhabit a troubled world. No one knows what demons they are dealing with on a daily basis.
It requires a special strength as an educator to be kind in one’s words with so many children trying your patience in different ways, to say nothing of one’s own personal stressors.
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The weight of words can be immense, and we carry their impact for a lifetime. A kind word can heal a broken spirit, while a thoughtless remark can scar for life.
In adulthood if we have felt challenged in doing something, dig deep into your buried memory, it was probably a significant adult from your past that made you question your ability to do it. Equally, a praise heaped upon us, even if undeserved, made us rise up to actually achieve that.
The foundation of belief
A foundation built on kindness and respect can withstand many a storm in later life. Words spoken to us seep into the bedrock of our beliefs and get cemented into our personalities as we grow.
Parents, teachers, other adults in children’s lives all exert a great influence in how young people shape up and structure their own belief systems about themselves and their abilities. It is our responsibility to be cognizant of this power we carry and exercise it with utmost care. There is a young life hanging at the end of your utterances.
Touch that heals
Along with words, touch plays an equally important role in hurting or healing a young child. A kind touch, a gentle hand on a burdened shoulder, a pat on the back for a job well done, a smile, the holding of a hand briefly – these small gestures have big effects.
A kind touch can heal, lift and reform. It can repair broken self-esteem, dispel the clouds of doom, and impart security and wholeness to young minds. It can quite literally save.
Teachers carry on their shoulders the power to make or break. Use the power responsibly.