“The Children We Work With Will Make The World Beautiful”
In my first years as a teacher, I realized how successful I was by working hard, adding new methods and techniques to the methods and techniques that I know every day, producing, putting the job in a race with myself, working regularly, writing great plans in the daily plan book, getting my principal to sign it before all the teachers of the school and trying hard at night. I was whispering in my ear and ending my days.
Who was it for me to whisper in my ear? In this way, I was increasing my own inner motivation. After a year passed, I took my little whisper one step further and poured it into the sound, and to anger them a little among the teachers of similar age working in the same district, I started to expand my own magnificent Gospel Empire by saying, “The best teacher of the Middle East and the Balkans came, let me tell you what you don’t know.” . My empire, which was growing day by day, was receiving its greatest threat from its border neighbors. Who were they? “My thirtieth year in the profession. I don’t know your king, you naive boy!” said teachers. I had no choice but to be crushed under sentences that started with thirty years of experience. Even Alexander the Great could not cope with the number of students that retired teacher Neriman Hanım brought to the Anatolian High School exams. The Byzantine Müzeyyen Teacher, whom Fatih met after passing the ships by land, asked, “Did you take the acceleration into account when passing the ships?” He couldn’t come to his senses for a long time after his call. When I realized that I could not cope with this great “empire of experience”, I decided to change tactics and resign from a state school and work in the private sector. Shifting the resistance elsewhere was essential to the survival of my empire.
Think about it, he has been doing this job for thirty years, of course he would know more than you, of course, with this experience, of course, he would multiply you thirty times, divide you by four, subtract three, add ten and immediately find that tiny number you had in mind. “Twenty-five years of my teacher,…” I used to have the same fear whenever I heard the phrase with an implicit message preceded by experience. For me, this was another interpretation of looking from above and not seeing the other person at all.
I got over my fear a little with an anecdote I heard. Two prospective teachers applied to work at a school. One had twenty years of experience while the other was only in his second year of teaching. The school administration met with both candidates. When the head administrator preferred the two-year teacher, one of his assistants naturally asked why the more experienced teacher was not preferred. The chief executive replied, “It seems like twenty years of experience, but it’s a repeating cycle for twenty years.” This simple anecdotal had shown that experience wasn’t always a coin. So, was the experience a bogeyman, was he always oppressing, was he always seeing the negative? Was it too hard to get over the old cognitive patterns?
In the first year I started working in a private school, my fear of a teacher who had completed a quarter of a century in his profession continued. It was only natural for me to be afraid of working with teachers who look over the top, don’t care about your opinions, avoid innovation, and think they know everything. I was about to enter my fourth year in the profession, at that time, I came across Kudret, Mübeccel and Precious, whose names I would like to especially mention. They were once legendary teachers, retired and started working in private school. When I knew them, I handed them all the gold, silver, bronze keys of my empire. From the first day we met until the last day, this trio did not use the year counters as a preliminary title, they used their experience as a shoulder, not as a pressure tool, and they left this completely to my free will. More importantly, they were the first to applaud in my achievements instead of looking at them with envy and envy together. They listened to me so well that it was impossible not to listen to them. They were my pride and showed me how much I could learn while I thought I knew so much.
The paths diverged, I started teacher training while continuing to teach in other classes of other schools. This is how harmful associations from the past began to be triggered in me, especially the Anatolian Wonderful Head Teacher Association started to nudge me. In teacher training, I was advancing confidently towards Nirvana, devoured by the corpus. When I said this is education, his voice was echoing from the opposite side. There were years when I thought I knew so much. Now, when starting a sentence, I can make sentences starting with the entry “in my education for all these years” and say “boo!” to the inexperienced teachers in front of me. I could if I didn’t realize that I’m relearning every day.
In one of the teacher training sessions, a new teacher said something else in the workshop on a subject that everyone agreed with me. We immediately said no, and cut it off. Our teacher came to the next lesson with scientific research and application examples. The things that we all said could not be, that we knew for sure, were gone. We were again caught in the old cognitive patterns barrier. Life is exactly like that, actually, when you say how much you know, it shows you how little you actually know.
When we begin to believe that there is something to learn from everyone, you begin to listen. Beginning to listen brings learning along with it. I believe that I will start listening to you while I finish my sentences and I will learn new things as I listen to you.
The children we work with will make the world beautiful…