The core is not in the tools, nor in the material means, nor in the technological level... The core is in the way we teach, the way we do whatever we do. The children learn what we do more than what we explain. This idea is also useful for parents and for any educator. We have been suffering the empire of the discipline for centuries. Men and women have always thought that the only way of teaching has much to do with the fear of punishment, as if the young human beings were little animals about to be domesticated as horses in a horseback-riding school.
Only the thoughts can change the thoughts. The power of the habits is very strong, I accept it, but... what kind of transformation is made in human heart, in human mind, if we do the things well only because we are used to do that things in this way?
Things happened, our life changes, perhaps a war comes, the society breaks down, the appearances and the social forces that hold our behaviour fade away as the light when the night arrives... In this situations, if we are only domesticated as animals, we lose all what we thought we had. On the other hand, domesticated beings are not utterly free; they do what their internal forces compels to do... The deeds we do when we are not free doesn't give us happiness, our life stays in rut, we are not really we, and we can't evolve.
The discipline borns from the hidden need of revenge. The angry teacher who applies discipline is really trying to relieve the rage, even though he thinks he is educating. What changes the human mind is not the punishment but the fact of being aware of what he or she has done bad and what she or he should have done in a different way, Most times, discipline is clearly an obstacle, because the violence of the punishment produces a reactive violence in the heart of the young one. The reactive violence darks the mind and the educational process stops. The knowledges we receive through the rage and the fear are not assumed in the best conditions, and sometimes, we hate those knowledges only because we acquired them through violence and stress.
So... How can we educate in a right way? How must our educative process be if we want to do the things well, and to do any good? First of all, we have to say that educating in a good way is not an easy task. Punishing is easier, and it often gets fast efects. People often applaud the consequences of the discipline; the clear and the immediate consequences of the discipline. But they don't see the inmost in the human mind, they don't see the future, they don't see the social consequences of the society that works with the tool of the law and the punishment. They will likely criticize the harsh pace of the society, their cold heart, their deep and terrible mistakes... but they don't realise that they are building this society through the education they are giving to their children.
(While I'm writing this, I peer through the bus window and I see the green grass, the wet landscape of Girona, the grey and cloudy sky. Meanwhile, I listen to an irish song «The broad majestic Shannon», and this song gives me goosebumps, because I'm thrilling.)
A new time is coming, a time where the teachers will not be punishers. The good education is a slow education. We have to let the children fail, fall, get wrong... We have to teach them how to forgive. We have to teach them that they must start again, again and again, because the path of the life is nice but it cheats us many times, and we have to know this reality. We have to learn, as teachers, that we have to learn every day, that we can learn from our pupils, that we must learn from our pupils, at least new ways of teaching, new ways of loving them, new ways of watching the life and the world.
Teachers are always between two worlds, the world that is going, and the world that is coming. We see the sweet and beautiful color of the last sunlight, and we see the thrilling light of the sunrise that is borning. We are privileged due to these both views. We are building the future society, and we have to be aware of this responsability. Life is not worth if we don't use it to reach high goals; but the high goals are not the fame or the money but the sacred errands of loving the men and the women of the future world. Human kind needs to be loved, and our duty is loving the little part of human kind we have beside us.
However this love is not a sweet but a torch. It is a love moving in one direction. We have to give and not to receive. We have to teach and to be forgotten. We have to love reaching nothing more than the fact of loving. Our reward is our task, nothing more than this.
To achieve this high attitude we have to discover the invisible realities that stand around us. The scenario of our life is full of invisible beings, like magnets that attract our souls and guide our deeds. We have this invisible realities as if they were headlights in the middle of a dark storm. And despite the fact they are invisible, they usually shine with a pure light that empowers us. Sometimes they shine when we discover an unique smile that borns from the deepness of the heart. Other times, they shine with a silence, or with some tears, or with a magical moment of wonder, or even in the silence of an empty classroom when we feel the intense lack of the people we were with some minutes before. This invisible powers are not in the shops. We can't buy them as if they were computers or books. They appear beside our attittudes, our way of watching people and life, our way of valuing our work and our pupils. We need them, and they love us.