“Fear can be good or bad. It can change your life if it gets too big. But fear can help you. Just do what you’re afraid of and you can get over it.”
Although I jotted that down as Amelia spoke in my Mandadoob class, I remember it word for word. And when I find myself very worried about something, I remind myself that if a seven year-old has a handle on fear, I better try to keep up.
Moments like these come often in Manadoob class. At first, I thought I had an unusual group of especially thoughtful and profound thinkers. But as we progressed, I realized that it wasn’t that these kids were really doing anything exceptional. It’s that the Manadoob program gently pushes kids to think, consider, and look at things in different ways than is typically asked of them day to day.
Are the kids in my class special? Yes, but again, not because only very special children found their way to my class. When you teach Manadoob and kids are encouraged to talk about themselves and make new discoveries, it quickly reveals the true, one-of-a-kind child.
Are the kids in my Manadoob class thoughtful and profound thinkers? Yes, but only because they are asked to think and offered the freedom to express themselves.
Each child is a special, unique person with important and valuable thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to miss that in the everyday business of school, homework, activities, and teeth brushing. When we stop to inquire and pay attention to what a child is thinking, amazing things can happen. We might actually learn something.