Chapter 23 » 23.77

The individual and the community


To ‘know oneself’ as a teacher implies acknowledging one’s weaknesses, source of prejudices and tendencies to stereotype. It involves accepting one’s effect on pupils and their parents. Diagnosing a child’s learning needs involves risking being wrong. We can only see clearly and risk being wrong when we have a high level of self-esteem and when we love ourselves enough to be open.

To acknowledge those aspects in ourselves and our own practice which hinder an understanding of the learner’s needs is difficult. Yet when we can do this, we are given the strength to respond lovingly to others, recognising that of God in everyone, which for Quakers, is what meeting the needs of the individual is all about.

Sarah Worster, 1988

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