Some years ago, I spoke to 1800 Teachers who teach teachers. The ATE (Association of Teacher Educators) a group of mostly PHD professors of education. I started off the morning asking 900 of them who could paint a picture? Like usual, less than 5% of the audience raised their hands. So I checked it out by asking a few individually. “You can’t paint a picture sir?”, “No”. “And you Mam”, “No, not me”. Than I asked them if I were to ask a group of kindergartners the same question, how many hands would go up? Most of them said “All of them”. Based on this informal study, I said, Who has more self esteem, children or us? Guess what. 99% of them said them. (There was one woman and one man who raised there hands to say adults did) Now I would like you to get that these are the teachers who teach the teachers who teach the kids in America! And they unanimously said that kindergartners have more self esteem than adults.
WOW. HOLY COMOLY. JEEPERS CREEPERS. KAZZAMMYWHAMMY
This is big. This is the basis of the work I do. It blows me away every time. What the heck happened and how can we change that. That’s where we went from there. So, my contention was that we must first UNLEARN some of these “beliefs”, some of these “irrational fears”, some of the self-conscious habits we’ve developed, because after all the kids learn by who we are, not what we say. If we start out in the world with great self esteem it tells me we can discover it once again. Lets “unlearn” the beliefs that there is something wrong with who we are. Lets “unlearn” the beliefs that it matters so much what others think of us. Lets “unlearn” the self consciousness that limits our joy and freedom. Lets “unlearn” the need to prove ourselves and just simply discover ways to improve the world.
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