This Week's Questions
[posed by Colleen A.]
Do you know?
[Question 1] I often encounter parents who arrive at school with a concern, only to quickly begin blaming a teacher for their child's unhappiness or under achievement. These parents have often been misinformed and are simply repeating what happened from the child's perspective. My question is, when a teacher is approached by angry parents, how can the teacher connect with those parents in an attempt to have a shared reality and perhaps help the child feel better and become more successful?
So what do you do? You learn to make connecting more important than being right or being innocent. This, in truth, is the primary skill needed to dialogue with parents about a child.
How can a teacher actually learn to do this? First, by learning to consciously witness parents who are making blaming remarks.
So what happens when it does happen and the teacher goes into shock? The teacher could use emergence to heal whatever "over" or "under" reactions he or she may have had.
For instance, say a teacher gets keyed by being told he or she has been insensitive to a child. Having a safe person use direct emergence; by playing the "bad guy" parent and saying to the teacher, "you are insensitive"; could quickly and permanently remedy this situation. Permanently and with love. In fact, once the teacher has tempered their consciousness in and around this particular experience, being in it, would, for the most part, have been transformed into a pleasant experience. Imagine that!
Boiled down to the basics then,  learning to make connecting more important than being right or being innocent, and  using direct emergence to heal any blocks, are the two best ways to stay connected to blaming parents.
[Question 2] How can the Layers of Aloneness be used to teach teachers how to stay more connected to their students so they do not burn out?
On the other hand, teaching someone how to remain connected is no easy task, and trying to do this while at the same time teaching can make learning this skill even harder.
In truth then, most people never learn to recognize when they have disconnected, let alone how to reconnect. This means the first thing a teacher would need to learn would be to notice when they disconnect.
Next would be to learn how to pay attention to how even one disconnected student can take the air out of a classroom. Of course, no one can be expected to keep a whole room mesmerized every time out. Still, knowing and addressing the "holes in the space capsule" can teach both students and teachers the importance of connecting.
Arguably, this may be the most important thing a teacher could ever teach.
Next is learning how to reconnect when there is a disconnect. Teaching teachers this is usually somewhat easier. Why? Because it is simply human nature to want to reconnect, given you have consciously noticed you have disconnected. At least, it is for most people.
What is the best way for a teacher to learn to do this? By learning that connections happen one person at a time. Thus, connecting (or reconnecting) a class to a teacher requires only that the teacher focus on connecting to one student at a time. And when this connection is in place, then moving on to the next student.
This movement; connecting to one student at a time and then moving on to the next connection, may be one of the best basic teaching skills a new teacher could ever learn. Or an old teacher could ever remember. And while curriculum matters, connection matters more. Why? Because without the connection, the curriculum is never heard, let alone learned by anyone.
In other words, make connecting to people first, and connecting to ideas second. If you do, you will rarely, if ever, burn out.
[Question 3] How can we use the Layers of Aloneness to teach school administrators to stay connected to teachers while giving evaluation feedback regarding things they want the teacher to change?
As in the previous question, the answer begins with being, and staying, connected, in this case, to the teacher. No connection. No conscious feedback. And after all, isn't the administrator trying to teach the teacher to be a better teacher?
My point. The same concepts apply as in the previous answer, only instead of a teacher remaining connected to a student, here, it is an administrator (in a teaching role) remaining connected to a teacher (in a learning role).
[Question 4] Why does the feeling of "falling in love" with a person seem to wax and wane over time, while "falling in love" with a thing of beauty does not? For example, a boy may "fall in love" with matchbox cars as a child and continue to be "in love with" cars throughout his adulthood. Yet, the same person may fall in and out of love with different women throughout the same time period.
Think I'm only kidding <kind smile>? Well, actually, I'm not.
Confused? Start with this. Matchbox cars do not get "personally" injured, definitely not in ways wherein they direct their symptoms at others. And while matchbox cars do grow old and eventually lose their newness, they also do not have accessible personalities. Other than those we give them, that is.
People, on the other hand, do get personal injuries. And when they do, at times, they direct their symptoms at others or at themselves. This makes staying in love with people much more difficult to do. People get injuries; people talk back and blame people for these injuries. Matchbox car do not talk back let alone blame anyone for their injuries.
All this said, I'm not even sure you have made a correct assumption in the first place. What I mean is, most kids do fall out of love with their toys. And many people never fall out of love with their first love, girl or guy. Perhaps, then, what you are asking is based on an incorrect assumption; that men love cars more than women <warm smile>. A few men do. But most men don't. As for those that do, well, try kissing a car. Consciously, I mean. No, the car won't give you any blame, that's true. But the car won't give you any love either.
[Question 5] I've heard so many teenage girls talk about loving the idea of it being "me and my baby against the world." Perhaps they feel so alone in the world, that they are trying to recreate the Layer Nine feeling they had with their own mothers. Could understanding the Layers of Aloneness help reduce teen pregnancy?
How could you give teenaged girls this picture? By having them picture what being a parent is like, perhaps by having several teachers take these girls though the experience of the first year of parenting.
Would this do it then? Probably, it would help. Still, for those girls who have been deeply injured regarding abandonment or being unloved though? Here, there would need to be some pretty profound healing.
Even so, could helping teachers to identify girls at risk help? Yes. And could you do anything with these girls, in a school setting, that is? Yes. You could have these girls journal to a book they create in the image of a loving and sensitive guide, some one these girls could talk to when they feel entirely alone.
I have known many such girls. And boys too. Connecting to a spiritual guide, no matter who the guide and no matter what the method, can definitely help.