Many parents report frustration and doubt regarding their parenting when their wonderful children reach teen age. They dread this period and express tension and even fear. Instead of getting closer to their growing children, their child’s first teen birthday marks the formation of “the generation gap”. Teens become emotional, irrational and mysterious. Parents ask themselves “Why do teens behave the way they do? Is it hormonal? Why are they so emotional? Is it normal?”
Many of my clients tell me I need to work for the Department of Education to encourage people to become teachers. Since I am so passionate about my teaching and I think it is the best job ever, they think I can convince any person, even those who do not like children, to shift to education.
I have my doubts about convincing any person, but I am sure that being an educator is the best job ever.
Traveling, I think, is a wonderful experience for us all. Children can benefit from travelling even more than grownups, because travelling expands their knowledge, ideas, beliefs and boundaries. Many people ask me, “Why take kids on expensive trips if they cannot remember all the details?”
So I ask them, “Do you remember all the things that made you who you are today?”
We live in a very special era. We are exposed to things today that 100 years ago we could only dream of. Think for example, 100 years ago, only lucky people living next to the ocean knew how a whale sounded. Today, every 3-year-old can tell you how a whale sounds and looks.
Technology has helped a lot to bring the world to our homes. In the beginning, there were photos, then moving picture and now live telecasts, showing things as they happen. We heave reached a point where we do not leave home and we think we can experience life through the screens of our TV and our computer.
But we cannot!
It’s looking around the world, at what is happening with starving people and violence, which makes me feel small and helpless sometimes. I can remember thinking about it ever since I was 15 years old, like Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. I wrote poetry, listened to Joan Baez and wrote John Lennon’s words of “Imagine” on my notebooks.
Have you ever been asked about the teachers that influenced your life? Well, it’s happened to me quite a few times, and I’ve always given the same answer. Reuben.
It was in grade 11. I was on the school council and headed the newsletter committee. One day, five of us were sitting in the principal’s office, accompanied by the teacher who had supported us for the entire year. This teacher, Reuben, had a family of his own, yet he spent hours with us, during breaks and after school, something no other teacher ever did. He sat on “our” side, facing the principal, and moved our chairs into a circle, breaking the authoritative seating arrangement.