Building an unshakeable bond of trust between oneself, as parent, teacher, mentor, counselor or coach and the young lives in our care, grows from an internal wellspring of deep mutual trust.
We’ve all been in circumstances where those ‘in charge’ simply don’t trust the people in their care. They micromanage everyone and everything. The lives and circumstance ‘entrusted’ to them cannot flourish. And the more trust is absent, the more the manager overcompensates by asserting their influence and control. It’s sad really. Mutual love, respect and responsibility cannot thrive in this atmosphere.
Something very different can grow in a circumstance where a deep mutual trust is truly present; trust slowly grown and worked for.
It is the ability to unlock creative ideas in others rather than imposing one’s own. It is creating the dynamic frameworks that promote and encourage the unpredictable release of brilliance in a circumstance. It is building multiple, interrelating, thriving partnerships, in oneself and with others. It asks for openness, insight, candor, patience, humor, humanity, stridency, focus and love.
There is absolutely no threat of punishment, aggression, stigma or failure…none! (These stem from deep insecurity, fear and distrust, and have no place in humane education.) Above all, there is no fear of judgment.
We (Talking Hands Talking Feet) have had the privilege of working intimately and intensively in nearly two hundred classroom situations over the years. The difference between coming into an atmosphere of trust and distrust is palpable. And there is a direct correlation to learning. Always, the difference comes down to the character and stature radiated from the teachers…always. Children are trust barometers; they know and feel the difference.
In many school environments, expediency rules the day. But taking the time…really, truly taking the time to engender an ecology of trust in the classroom saves you, the teacher from exhausting management in the name of expediency. But it requires slowing things down, breaking the habitual stress cycles, so everyone can feel and see and know something of quality is possible in your care. This depth of trust can be an irrevocable presence in the ecology you create. It begins, as always, in ourselves.
It goes beyond giving trust on credit, or ‘tough love’. It comes from a fierce love of the human spirit and the insistent belief that every child is capable and can rise to the challenges of living; and that you will hold them to it, in trust! Children can self-correct in the uncompromising presence of your kind trust. They know it, feel it, see it in your eyes. You are their champion and advocate. This is deep mutual trust. It is a defiance against all that would diminish and degrade another human life. It springs from a profound stability, safety and care…a golden well that never runs dry.