We are in Singapore to train teachers and on the way here we saw and heard something wonderful!

We sat at the back of the plane and so did a couple with their 3 children-ranging from 3-8 years. These children had obviously not flown before and were very excited about the proceedings.

As we lifted into the air, the kids screamed loudly with absolute fear and delight. We all smiled and the mood was contagious and each one of us disappeared into our own private thoughts and remembered our first flight. We remembered the fear and the thrill and each of us wondered that we have become so deadened to the thrill, speed and sheer excitement of taking off into the air! Somehow I know none of us will forget that flight!We all gained from that experience and we all felt revitalised and more in touch with our inner child!

As educators, we need to be able to identify with the feelings of excitement and fear children feel when confronted by something new and challenging. These three kids coped well-their parents had assured them that they would be safe, strapped them in and trusted they would manage their fear. When the children screamed loudly they smiled indulgently and allowed the children to express their joy and fear.

If only we could always trust our children to manage challenges, assure them and provide support but stop wrapping them in cotton wool. Children are amazingly resilient and most definitely will achieve far more than we expect if we allow them some breathing space. There is a strong message for educators here. Stop putting limits on children. I hear so many teachers talking about the labels they might place on children and how they will not be able to achieve academically as they have these various “conditions”.

We make self-fulfilling prophecies. I ask my teachers to take the labels OFF children and find out who they really are underneath this plethora of limiting labels. Children need to be pushed slightly beyond their comfort zone- we all need this! They can do it and they have to learn to throw their heart over the bar and give their absolute best! Let’s encourage all our kids to all aim for the stars.

Come to the edge, he said.

 They said:  We are afraid.

 Come to the edge, he said.

 They came

 He pushed them……………and they flew.

 (Guillaume Apollinaire)


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