“Education is always about relationships. Great teachers are not just instructors and test administrators: They are mentors, coaches, motivators, and lifelong sources of inspiration to their students.” (Ken Robinson) I love this quote and try to live it everyday.
There is an equally strong and powerful benefit for us as teachers. When we build relationships with our students, we are forever inspired by them as well.
My kids and I do yoga together each week. We end each session with a ritual of gratitude and relationship. We go to each other – hands in the yoga prayer position – look each other in the eyes, and say:
Namaste (name). Thank you for practicing. You are awesome!
It is a super powerful moment of relationship, caring, and affirmation.
As I affirm each child, I take their hands in mine I want them to know they are important to me, and have my full attention. I want them to be assured I have them in my hands — now and always.
Several of my students have begun to take the lead in this ritual, and grasp my hands in theirs.
I love the symbolism. I am not the only one who values relationship. I am not the only one offering inspiration, or holding others in my hands and heart. My students – these 5 and 6 year olds — hold me in their hands and heart as well.
This reality — and the image of their small, but mighty hands, holding mine — inspires me every day.
Note: I’ve wanted to capture these moments in photographs for some time now, but couldn’t figure out how to have both of my hands held, and take a photo! Today I realized, “Ask the hands that are holding you!” After yoga today, I asked my students to take some photos. These are two of the photos they took.