It has been an interesting day...
My first day with the teachers for this session... where we started to talk about the third teacher... and the freedom for children to use the space...
Then I went out with two of the teachers for a chat over drinks (lemon and mint juice... it is just sooo yummy) and we talked about children, Palestine, occupation and what is FREEDOM.
I return to my home from home, to discover that back in Stockholm there has been a terrorist attack. And for a few hours there was the stress of not being able to reach my husband and not knowing... I assumed that he would not have been in the area of the attack... but you never know... and then there was the not knowing if he could get home to my son, who was there alone.
it is at times like this when you can appreciate facebook as an amazing connection tool... I asked for help and there were many offers, and my daughters' friend cycled over to make sure he was not alone and so that he could get some dinner.
My husband IS safe... he just didn't think about letting us know. So we stressed and worried and shed the odd tear, worked out creative ways of getting in touch with each other... Jenin, Palestine, Lysekil (just north of Gothenburg) and Stockholm - all my children I could get in touch with... just not my husband - but stress was for nothing... but I am thankful for friends. Really thankful.
BUT back to freedom.
We explored FREEDOM together... we challenged ourselves to define it in one word (we had used many many to try and define it)
These were the words that we chose.
Freedom is to live life
Freedom is to be yourself, to be who you are
Freedom is to have choices
My grandfather once told me that the biggest threat to FREEDOM is fear... and I have to agree.. when we are afraid we stop making choices, we are not strong enough to be we you really are (or to support others)... you are not really living your life.
Also people who are afraid take choices away from others to make themselves feel safer. This can be the freedom of speech, the freedom of movement... as is witnessed here in Palestine. There is much fear... and yet today I am safer here in Palestine than in central Stockholm!
The people I meet here and not people I am afraid of. They are people just like me, with hopes and dreams, who want to express themselves, their love, their joy, their life... as we do. They want to have the freedom to choose. They are generous, brave people. They are looking for ways to provide a better life for their children... a life of peace, a life of freedom... a freedom to be themselves, a freedom to choose the life they live... a freedom to choose their home.
This is something we all want for our children.
For me this is something that I strive for as an educator.
To give children the freedom to reach their potential.
To set up a room to give them the freedom to explore.
To give time to have the freedom to play.
To give them the freedom to make friends and interact with others.
The freedom to learn.
NOT to be filled with information in an adult down education system.
My head is ready to explode. There is so much going on and so much I want to express, but I am still struggling to find the words.
Over the last few years I have been giving myself development challenges instead of new year resolutions... the first year I started doing this I chose
LISTENING... to learn how to listen, to understand what is listening
this lead to
PLAY FOR PEACE... because if we were listening to each other the play became more peaceful... not conflict free, but with the ability to resolve disagreements in a peaceful manner.
this lead to this years' challenge
THE DEMOCRATIC PRESCHOOL/CLASS... in the sense that we are all valued participants, that we can collaborate and make decisions where we ALL can be safe, all can learn and we are all valued for who we are.
I think this is all leading towards freedom... ?