More stream of consciousness stuff but it does go somewhere….
In Ireland, we have a saying – ‘you’re thick’ meaning ‘you’re stupid’. It’s not very pleasant at all, despite often being said with jocularity. Of course a teacher would stomp on any reference to this is a class (and most certainly would not use it themselves despite the endemic nature of ‘slagging’ in Irish society). If you’re not familiar with ‘slagging’ as a concept, it comes in two forms – ‘slagging’ with your friends (possibly acceptable up to a point) and ‘slagging’ of other people – certainly not acceptable. It is hard to do anything about the latter without getting rid of the former. Getting rid of the former would require a shift in Irish culture, SO endemic is slagging.
Anyway, I digress. The point is the ‘you’re stupid’ phrase will raise it’s head when a student gets an answer wrong. Of what students and indeed most adults seem unaware, is that there is a difference between knowledge and intelligence. One could be the most intelligent person on the planet and still be the most ignorant. Equally, one could have fairly limited intelligence and still have plenty of knowledge. I find awareness of the difference highlights exactly who is stupid!
How are your feet? You read it right…and probably after you did, you wriggled your toes or actually paused to consider your feet. A strange question you might think, until you realise that for most of the day we wander through life without thinking about how we are feeling. Imagine how easier it would be to manage stress if we were more aware of how it affected our bodies. The only way to do this is to pause and bring into your awareness how you are feeling. Are your feet tired? Is that tension in your neck? Are you still typing despite that niggly pain in your lower arm?
Of course you knew you had feet. But being aware is different. Being aware is knowing that you know at that point in time. It is having something present in your mind.
The point about this is that you can wander through the day without paying any attention to pain in your feet(in this example). But once you are aware of the pain, once it is present in your mind, you are forced to do something about it. That’s how awareness works. If we have any kind of feeling for ourselves or others, we are compelled to address our awareness.
Actually…just one last point…in every class of 30 students, there is most likely to be 2 that are more intelligent than the teacher. They may even be more knowledgeable in some subjects (incredible as that may seem). BUT they still need the teacher – they need the teacher’s experience, the teacher’s wisdom, the teacher’s awareness of life, the teacher’s ability to balance grown-ups knowledge of the world against the more sensitive emotions of a child, and most often, they need simply someone to whom they can talk on their level.
Is that you?