A good day for a child is when he/she can be accepted as a unique being, filled with sensitivity and love; curiosity and wonder; trust and openness; intelligence and experimental mindedness. When the immediate environment makes it possible for his/her contribution to become a functioning part of the plan or learning experience for the day, then that day the child squeals delightedly "I can do it!"

This day begins with an inviting environment and a teacher whose attitude radiates joy, love, and sensitivity; whose link with the Higher Self remains intact throughout the day's unfolding moments; whose plans are implemented through patient understanding of the child's needs, interests, and capabilities; whose knowledge of the importance of helping the child understand that freedom and responsibility are interchangeable aspects of an unfolding inner self control, so essential in functioning as an integral part of a greater whole. The teacher becomes a magnetic force within the classroom as each student feels the positive radiance of loving understanding and unconditional acceptance.


The Teacher

In the classroom, the teacher is the master key which can unlock many wonderful doors for the child. The teacher can stimulate curiosity, joy and enthusiasm or can deaden the creative senses of the child according to the inner attitude reflected toward the child and the teaching process. An attitude of friendliness, of concern, of acceptance, a gentleness of voice and actions, instills a sense of trust within the child. The young child uses feeling more than reason in exploring the environment in which she/he is placed. However, most all students are alert to the subtle signals emanating from the teacher-attitude, conscious values, and thought patterns. The student's
attitude then becomes positive or negative according to the attitudes and values in a student/teacher interchange. When there is Beauty in teachers' hearts, then this beauty will awaken within the child a sensitivity to the true, the good and the beautiful. An attitude of joy, love, and sensitivity flowing outward from the teacher and embracing the child will set in motion a positive energy flow thus inspiring and bringing forth a mutual understanding of the meaning and purpose of the learning process.

As educators our work with children of all ages can become potent when we truly accept and trust the process rather than seeking results. The process works according to the laws of the universe. For example, a seed is planted. Through the process of germination the seed sends out roots and then shoots upward into the sunlight to fulfill its purpose —the cycle of life. Thus, it is with a child. A seed of knowledge is planted within the child's consciousness. Through the thinking process this seed flowers into a thought form to fulfill its purpose —an expansion of consciousness. If at any point in this natural process, the desire to see results causes one to interfere in the process, then the purpose is not fulfilled. So it is in working with children. It is vital to let the child unfold naturally through the thinking processes of discovery, imagining, observing, classifying, measuring, interpreting data, communicating, relating, and questioning.


 

The Learning Process

Teaching/learning is a simultaneous process. In this process we develop an increasing understanding and appreciation of our interaction with our planet Earth —its cultures, environment, communication, interdependence, conflict and change. This process requires a free mind to search for new combinations or methods in an ever expanding consciousness. Morya says, "...The World is not in need of new elements but of new combinations..." (New Era Community, 4/92).

A learning process which includes concepts, experiences and activities related to meaningful communication, peace, and right human relations enables the student to acquire a global awareness. In developing this awareness the teacher must first aid the student in understanding and accepting the fact that life is a learning process which is unfolding moment by moment in the mind and heart of all humanity.

A global concept of education aids the student in developing a consciousness of the ebb and flow of the vibrating life within every atom from the Macrocosm to the Microcosm. It shares with the child the beauty and grandeur of the universe and man's place within the whole scheme. It provides a challenging learning environment and draws out of the child his/her best qualities such as love, compassion, courage, understanding, and appreciation of the true, the good and the beautiful.


Student/Teacher/Group Relationship

Right relations within a classroom is a prerequisite of effective learning for the individual child, as well as the group with whom he/she is associated. In setting up an optimal learning environment it is essential to establish an atmosphere for learning. This environment includes four key elements which are: love, patience, ordered activity, and understanding.

Love —each child needs to feel love at all times —a smile, touch, hug, acceptance, gentleness, kind voice, courteous actions.

Patience —each child needs to have time to question, explore and experiment without a sense of outer pressure. Each child needs to develop an inner rhythm in harmony with the group rhythm. He/she needs to be aware of the process.

Ordered Activity —each child needs a harmonious environment in which to work.

• Physical —a functional work area with materials in place and energies synthesized for the greater good of the group.

Emotional —have a feeling of happiness, joy, and well being. A sense of peace and unity within the group.

Mental —each child needs to work at his /her own level of ability or maturity, otherwise frustration will make positive work impossible.

Understanding —each child needs to feel accepted as he or she is and to be understood as to feelings, actions, and accomplishments.

 


Classroom Management

The management of a classroom can be compared to any corporate structure, in that each must maintain a balanced energy flow in order to bring about effective results. All the components of a classroom or a corporate structure have to flow in harmony with a common goal.

In the classroom, the components include the environment, the student, the teacher, the lesson plans and materials. All these components are blended into meaningful and challenging learning experiences. The interaction of all these intricate energies takes a vigilant teacher who can harmonize all the notes and tones flowing through each individual component or part to the total learning process. Vigilance, infinite patience, loving understanding, constancy and dedication will bring about a symphonic classroom atmosphere in which both student and teacher share a beautiful moment in time and space.

Environment —Set up an atmosphere of ordered activity which will motivate and challenge the child to freely express his/her capacity for learning and the ability to assume responsibility.

Provide an atmosphere of love in which the child feels and understands that freedom and order go together. Freedom implies order as a child becomes absorbed in an experience.

Provide an atmosphere of patience through an inviting mental environment with a balanced emphasis placed upon knowledge, thinking, sensitivity to beauty, to love and being loved, and to qualities of kindness and generosity for the general welfare.

Provide an atmosphere of understanding. Meet on the child's level since the child is unable to meet on the adult level. Allow the child to unfold and expand in his/her own predetermined time frame-follow the child's drum beat and point out the adjustments needed along the way. Let instruction come through the true, good, and beautiful.

Motivation —In order to motivate a child, the teacher must first be inwardly motivated. The teacher who is enjoying or having fun with the learning process, radiates an infectious aura which engulfs the child and sets up a reciprocal spark within the child, resulting in a mutual joy of discovery. Teaching and learning are one-children flower when the teacher is friendly, fair, and consistently firm, while at the same time showing forth an attitude of humor, warmth, and encouragement


Self Motivation or Control

Self-control or discipline is at the heart of every learning experience. Therefore, it is a vital part of every lesson plan. It is a process which has to be brought forth from the child. It needs to become a part of the child's attitude and value system This process of control needs to be introduced as soon as the child understands how to take directions. This is the time to set up definite learning experiences of gaining control of the body —physical, emotional, mental. Cooperation is an essential component of this learning experience. Techniques which help bring forth this cooperative attitude are:

Begin with physical body control through exercises which strengthen and calm the body.

When the physical body is coming under control, then begin developing emotional control through stories, heroes, games, and opportunities for individual interchange with teacher and peers.

Through visualization, imagination, and observation, the child's mind can begin to develop a sense of direction and purpose,

Give encouragement rather than praise because encouragement
lets the child know that you are with him /her.

Let patient understanding emanate from you so strongly that the child can trust it.

Positive ways of approaching the child include the following:

• Be aware of the child's energy field (emotional and physical). . Motivate through the environment, challenging and interesting learning experiences, your enthusiasm and zest for teaching.

Invite the child by asking rather than demanding.

Take the child through short exercises of gaining inner control rather than external control. This needs daily practice.


Each child is unique and has a contribution to make or to give to the group. In any strategy used it is most vital to understand the individual child and his ability to relate to the group. However, there are occasions when a child has difficulty in adjusting to group interaction, thus causing disruption of the learning process. The causes for disruption are many and varied, ranging from a sense of not being loved, to an over abundance of physical energy, or from a lack of mental challenge. No matter which body or bodies are involved (mental, physical, emotional) there needs to be a structure set up which sends consistent messages to the child.

The following guidelines can work in a situation of uncooperative behavior:

1. Check your actions to see if there is an atmosphere of love, patience, ordered activity and understanding pervading all the group experiences and activities.

2. Establish a standard of behavior or relations for working with a group so that each child understands the plan of action within the group process.

3. Establish leadership through the blending of Love/Will into one thread of action.

4. Counsel with the disruptive child daily - with an open heart, reinforce, encourage, and build self worth.

5. Be consistent in the use of each strategy. This gives the child a sense of understanding (consequence of actions) .

6. Act instantly and consistently with each disruptive action of the child. Rechannel the negative energies into productive areas.

7. Always help the child understand how much he/she is loved and needed as an active productive member of the group.



Behavior Patterns of Group Interaction

Responsibility —At the center of establishing right group relationships is the concept of responsibility.

The success of any group endeavor depends upon each group member accepting responsibility, individually and as a group. Responsibility is learned through planning, implementing, and evaluating learning experiences. Younger children learn through sharing, interchange, proper use of equipment and materials and working with group effort.

Concern for others -Group welfare is nurtured through concern for others. This concern shows forth as mutual respect, sensitivity to needs, and a willingness to help. Right relationships emerge from a
mutual caring. .

Open-mindedness —an essential quality in accepting the ideas, opinions and beliefs which are a part of group interaction. This quality is nurtured through activities including problem solving, creative thinking, seeking a better way of doing things, and an understanding of the relationship of feeling and thinking. Assist the child in developing an awareness of thoughts and feelings of heart and mind.

Creativity —Creativity is an excellent avenue by which the child gains a wholesome feeling of self worth. A young child's developing mental abilities are fostered by asking the child to produce more than a single answer to problems or questions; encouraging the child to find new ways of using materials and equipment and by the use of the imagination stories, ideas, poetry, acting, etc.

Cooperation —is basic to effective group relations. This concept begins within the family unit and extends to the community and beyond.

Positive behavior patterns of responsibility, concern for others, creativity and cooperation are built through experiences of doing, observing, and evaluating. As the child sees the results of this type of behavior, he/ she becomes a valuable asset to the group process. As children mature, they become increasingly adept in working with ideas, plans, and group interchange, thus gaining the new insights needed for working with international. Issues and problems.


Planning for Learning Experiences

The teacher affects the student in a positive or negative manner according to the use of the voice, body language, attitude, organization, preparation, and presentation of planned lessons and activities.

To walk into a classroom unprepared on any level - spiritual, mental, emotional, physical (body, plans, materials, etc.) is one sure way of not having a good day. Children of all ages are excellent "teacher readers". They pick up on one's feelings, tone of voice, appearance, posture, etc. and then react to this stimulus even before 'a lesson can be shared with the group.

The first step in motivating children to reach out to learning experiences is to be prepared yourself and then invite the child to share with you an interesting and challenging experience. This ,invitation could be through a song, story or poem, bulletin board, questions, a game, pictures, puzzles, film, conversation, etc.
At step two, the lesson is introduced through the use of multimedia materials and experiences-music, art, drama, audiovisuals, field trips, research, construction, map, charts, graphs, etc.

At step three, the lesson unfolds in sequential order. A link is made ,when the new learning materials, ideas, or knowledge relate to some known fact or feeling within the child's mind. Thus optimal learning is taking place.

Step four is the follow through or the anchoring of the new knowledge in the child's brain summary, review, or re-teach from a different aspect.


Summary

In working with children it is important to keep !n mind the following vital points:

• Be aware of the four atmospheres of love, patience, ordered activity, and understanding.

Build an inner self worth through imparting the necessary skills, attitudes, and interests so the child feels competent

Provide opportunities and encouragement in helping the child develop a creative sense in all activities.

Provide opportunities which develop a feeling of independence - one which lets the child say, "I can do it myself."

Help the child develop a positive body image which contributes to the child's sense of identity.

Use the group energy to develop the desired environment for the learning process. Joy and cooperation are as infectious as chaos.

Radiate harmlessness and (inner) love which will permeate the atmosphere of the immediate environment

The opening and closing of the day contribute greatly to the learning process and establishment of right relations and communication within the group.

Opening the day —take a few minutes to unite the group in a common plan for the day. Lead into an anticipation of the lesson to be unfolded. Set up one goal to work toward throughout the day-helpfulness, cooperation, courtesy, kindness, etc.

Closing the day -recapitulate the events of the day. Ask about the feeling for the day, the knowledge gained, the joy experienced, goal of the day, etc. Let each child express his feelings about the day's experiences.

As educators in a rapidly changing world it is imperative that we realize the great privilege and responsibility we have in meeting the challenges before us. The key to this challenge is in helping the individual child realize that he is an integral part of a greater whole. It is imperative "to teach him that the life which he feels pulsing through his veins is only one small part of the total life pulsing throughout all forms, all kingdoms in nature, all planets, and the solar system. He will learn that he shares it with all that exists, and that therefore a true 'blood Brotherhood' is everywhere to be found. Consequently, from the very start of his life, he can be taught relationship, and this the small child will be apt to recognize more quickly than will the average adult trained in the ways and attitudes of the old age." Education in the New Age, p. 93.

Feeling this oneness will enable the child to act accordingly —a positive force within a greater whole. Thus, the vision of global education held within the mind and heart of educators everywhere, opens the door to an awareness of the oneness of our planet.