“I respect you and your parents”
“I see you, your parents and where you come from”. For many of us schools are the second system to which we belong. Just like in our family, we have the need to be accepted in order to thrive. When the child does not feel included, when there is no rightful place among their peers and teachers, they are not open to learn. They are unconsciously busy finding their place.
What can we do to create the conditions for our students to flourish? What is our role as teachers? And maybe a more important question. What is our position? It helps when teachers take their place with humility, knowing that they are at the service of their students and families. Students and their parents come first, teachers second. No matter how damaged the child’s family system or how harmful their parenting relationship is, I can better support my student if I am aware that I am “just” their teacher. It helps when I look at the children with respect, knowing that they have the right parents for them. It helps when I SEE them and I SEE their parents behind them without judgement. I am not a judge, I am a teacher. It helps when I can hold their parents in my heart too. So the children don’t have to choose between their parents and their teacher. If they have to choose, teachers will lose them. All children are unconditionally loyal to their parents, the source of their Life. I learnt from Marianne Franke the importance of the GAZE: when I look at my students and I can open my heart to their ancestors and where they come from, children can relax, they KNOW that I will not judge their parents, they feel safe and consequently more available to learn. I will be forever thankful to Marianne and to the late Mercè Traveset, deeply missed teacher and systemic therapist in Catalonia, who taught me how to better support children at school. They taught me very simple and yet life changing Family Constellations’ principles applied to the school system.