Today was the first day back at Golden Goose Learning Centre. I was so happy to see all our students and especially excited to hear about all their wonderful holiday adventures! One of our students who was much younger came in and was in tears;really in tears. I wasn’t sure what happened as it was upon her arrival. Did she trip maybe? Did someone push her? But it wasn’t a cry of pain, I could tell by looking in her eyes that she was very much afraid. “Dee”, I asked: “What’s the matter? What happened?” Dee was only 6 and in grade one. “I’m afraid” she said through her sobbing. I sat her down on a chair to calm her but the tears just kept pouring down. “I’m just scared of the HIM!” she pointed to the French room. Dee was referring to our new French teacher. It was his first day at Golden Goose. “Okay Dee, lets talk hun. He’s actually such a nice teacher, he’s been talking to the other kids ever since they came in”, I explained. “I’m still scared!” she cried. “What are you scared of?” I asked. “Are you scared he will be mean to you?” “No.” she sobbed. “Are you scared he will yell at you?” I asked again. “NOoooo.” “Well then what are you scared of Dee?” ” I don’t know, I’m scared for no reason…I just don’t know him!”
I could see her fear and yet Dee knew she had no reason to be afraid of the new teacher. He actually really loved teaching children, but she was still afraid. Afraid of the unknown. It is frightening isn’t it? Change is always frightening and getting nudged out of your comfort zone is also not pleasant. What it is “the new” going to be like? The answer: “I don’t know”…that’s scary! I turned to Dee and said: “I know that this is a new teacher, but I want you to know, that he is very kind and really is excited about teaching you and the other kids Dee.” I also want you to know that sometimes with only a little bit of courage, you will find that change is a wonderful thing, and all you have to do is just give a chance to something different ” Dee looked at me and said: “but what if he’s not nice?” Well Dee: I said: “what if he is?” “What if he’s not only nice…but will teach you French in a really fun and cool way?” Dee stopped crying and looked at me with her pink cheeks and glossy brown eyes. “Will you come with me?” “I sure will.” I said. I led Dee by the hand in the French room and stayed for about 15 minutes helping her and her new teacher get acquainted. I asked if I could go back to my classroom now and Dee gave me a gentle nod. I kept peeking my head in to see if she was okay. By the end of the day, as I was teaching, Laura, our special needs teacher, came to me and said: “I just checked on Dee, and she was talking to her teacher with a big smile!” Whew. What a relief. Before Dee said goodbye to me she jumped out of her classroom and said “I’M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE!” with a big smile! That’s all I needed to hear.
Change is tough isn’t it? We get so comfortable in our zones, knowing people around us; the good, the bad and the ugly. Knowing our environment, how to swing things and get it done. But then change comes along. It can move us to so many degrees…a simple nudge or a big push that sometimes gets us to fall over! Its scary because it’s not what we’ve always known. Even a decision about ‘slowing down’ or ‘quitting smoking’ or ‘having another child’ or ‘starting your own business’ is all the unknown. What if I get fired and have no money to pay for this? What if I get hurt? What if I fail? What if I slow down too much and get used to it? What if I gain weight? So because of Dee today; my 6-year-old friend, I’m going to have the courage to do this: not worry so much, be more present and take care of my health by slowing down, exercising and listening to my body and surroundings. Because what if? maybe what if? when I do slow it down,take care of me a little bit and don’t get it all done today: life would not only be really nice…but really really cool. 🙂 Thanks for teaching me young friend.
What is your ‘what if?” for 2012? Please share and I promise to let Dee know during Emotional Intelligence class along with all our other students! Cick ‘leave a response’ or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org