If you were to ask me what is the one single “method” when it comes to Teaching, whether homeschooling our own children or teaching others, that method is “Trust”. This is a blog about my reflections as a parent and a teacher when it comes to trusting children and young people.
It’s been the easiest hardest thing to do. Trust doesn’t require tools or expenses or effort or research. Trust doesn’t require us to make sacrifices or improvements. It’s a simple choice. Trust. And yet it is so hard to accomplish.
Just 2 months ago, I made myself purchase a book I said I didn’t need – Speed of Trust by Stephen R. Covey. I was very confident that I am a trustworthy person and I only work with Trustworthy causes. Sure we can be trusted. But can we trust others? A paragraph from Speed of Trust
Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust – is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them – in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them – of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It’s that simple. We have all had experiences that validate the difference between relationships that are built on trust and those that are not. These experiences clearly tell us the difference is not small; it is dramatic.
The following paragraphs asks us to reflect on the sort of relationship we have with someone we trust and someone we don’t trust.
Describe this relationship. What’s it like?
A relationship that is based on trust feels easy and joyful. We feel relaxed and happy to be around that person. On the other hand, when we don’t trust someone, we feel like we are walking on eggshells, that we have to be careful what we say and how we say around that person.
When reflecting on relationships you have with people you have high trust or low trust with don’t you think things can get done a lot faster and the relationship becomes more enjoyable? I think we can judge the level of trust in any organization, be it a school or a company by the speed in which they can things done. In an environment of Trust, things get done and people don’t feel unnecessarily stressed out.
I think many adults, parents and teachers, need to realize that the way we behave at home and in school become the models of Trust for young people. In a school where teachers don’t trust each other but instead gossip about students and other teachers to one another in the staffrom, acting as “spies” on both sides, how is it possible to get any teaching and learning done?
Is it fair to young people when adults and teachers don’t trust their choices when they tell us how they feel about something? Are we thwarting their chances at happiness if we deny them the same way others have denied us when we were younger? Will we be the ones who will be responsible for them if they grow up stressed and unhappy and unfulfilled?
I don’t care what schools do as much as I care about the young people who are affected. – At home, it’s a different story. We may not realize it but all we have to do is ask our children how we made them feel. See, if we don’t trust them, they will not know how to trust themselves and learn to trust others. I am reminded of Kelly Clarkson’s song, – “Because of you I find it hard to trust not only me but everyone around me.”
What does it mean to trust our young people? It means to listen to them. It means to stop thinking we have to be right because we don’t want them to be wrong. It means to trust that, like us, they want a better world for themselves and all those they love.
Each time we warn them about failing, about making mistakes – each time we scare them about being lazy, being useless, being unemployed, being unsuccessful – we are only destroying the trust that should exist.