K12 Virtual Education - Parent Teachers And "Fear" In The Teaching And Learning Process

   "Free Children are not easily influenced; the absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child."

A.S. Neill, (1992) Summerhill School, A New View Of Childhood, Penguin Books.

We are all afraid of something. Whether it is the dark, small spaces, falling in our dreams or the neighbor's dog! When faced with these our bodies can react to the perceived fear of the situation.

Authority or perceived authority is sometimes a huge fear provoker. Who remembers the fear of facing a teacher without the homework finished? Or the fear of a parent finding out you had not done so well in French as they might have expected. Inadvertently we bring this fear with us into adulthood. As adults we become the feared and oddly enough we almost feel "entitled" to repeat the process without thinking. We fail to think of the repercussions this type of "authority" had on us as people.

In the world of teaching and learning it is common to perceive the "teacher" as a position of authority. Parent - teacher meetings can often leave some parents in a bit of a tizzy. When teaching in the home this can tend to back fire - a lot! In one instant you are mum or dad and the next you are the teacher. Your past experience of both these roles will dictate the way you view your own role of authority in your child's life.

Fear is a part of life. The trick is to not let it drive us in the decisions we make. Especially decisions we make for those we love very much! Here are a few things you may want to avoid doing.

What to Avoid:

Avoid making fear-based choices in education for your student - this leaves you as a parent/teacher in a very vulnerable place. Teaching a program without being 100% that it is the best fit for your student leaves room for doubt by both parties! Fear of the alternatives should not be the only thing that drives your home program. Fear cannot sustain a balanced educational program.

Avoid making your students responsive to fear only. It may be very difficult to ignite intrinsic motivation if they are only triggered to participate through fear.

Avoid living with the fear that your student's natural intuition will uncover your weakness. It is often very powerful to share with our students that which we find difficult. This gives our learners an opportunity to offer their help and ideas. It also brings them closer to understanding we are all human.

Do not fear to be human. Your child's perception of your authority will not change if you show natural human frailty. This doesn't mean you have them running all over the place like wild animals.

Avoid letting the opinions of others affect your ability to prepare and teach your students in the way you believe best fits their needs. Our fear of what others think can interrupt the natural flow of creative ideas we may have. Opinions of onlookers are just that. As parents and 24hour caregivers we must own confidently decisions we make for our children.

Having said all that here are a few things you might consider doing to be sure you are staying conscious about where fear may be lurking in your program.

What to do!

As Arthur Costa shares in "Habits of Mind" (2000), it is important to share with your child the importance of persistence, thinking flexibly, managing impulsive behavior, using humor, listening and understanding with empathy, thinking, questioning, applying past knowledge to new situations and remaining open to continuous learning. Moving away from decisions made of fear, towards thinking solutions can ignite a lot of creativity and intrinsic motivation in your student.

Let your child know that he or she is loved and accepted. Behavior comes and goes. The true spirit of your child is a constant!

Celebrate all that makes your child unique. After a public outburst of truth from my rather vocal 4 year old a passerby quietly shared with me - "What appears to be obnoxious at 4 is rather attractive at 24!"

Choose a program where you believe you and your student can be at your besthttps://www.kuepa.com/. Choosing a program out of fear of the alternatives can leave both you and your student feeling frustrated and lonely.

Always be open to continuous learning. Our students/children are changing everyday. A huge advantage of teaching at home is we are able to understand and make room for these changes. Our teaching can be most effective when it grows with the needs of the child.

Throw caution to the wind and fear out the window! There is less to be fearful of when we learn and grow together.


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