‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world’
I have always been inspired by the quote, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”, as this quote touches the heart of what I believe in as an IB educator. The idea that we can be a gentle force of change. It sounds paradoxical, but is it, really?
By Edith van der Linden, deputy head of school
Shaking the world is what we are trying to do here at ISUtrecht, one shake at a time. We aim to develop our students into lifelong learners who can be compassionate, critical thinkers through inspiring, authentic and innovate learning. As our students develop their own passions, we want them to grow to become shakers and movers in their own way.
The importance of self-care
In our current landscape of learning about how a virus can impact our health, well-being and even our sanity, the focus naturally has been on how to take care of ourselves. Self-care has become important, and we are supporting our students, and our staff in developing strategies for self-care, personal efficacy and finding ways to feel safe as a necessary tool to reduce stress and anxiety.
So many creative ideas from teachers, Introducing ‘happies’ in the weekly staff communication, sharing tips on how to keep going during a time of exhaustion, and how to care for ourselves, from bingeing series like Ted Lasso for quirky comic relief, student toilet talk posters on how to unwind, meditation apps for inner peace, to taking a power nap.
How can we be kind?
Why then does that not always help? Why do we still feel exhausted? Yes, our realities change almost daily in school but is there something missing?
Another word for gentle is kind. In being kind to ourselves, how can we keep reflecting on how to truly share kindness, and how to be kind to others? To care for others in addition to caring for ourselves.
Shaking and moving
Can we shake the world from just our own perspective? Or is shaking the world about helping others grow, one step at a time? What do we need to help others grow? We recognised at our staff retreat in September that it is hard to keep connecting with one another, both physically, and mentally. How can you and I shake the world gently? An IB virtual conference workshop shared a list of things we can do to keep ‘shaking’ and ‘moving’ by doing just one of these below to gently shake the world.
75 Altruistic Acts for Educators
- Clean something that normally someone else cleans
- Tell a student why you are grateful to have them in your class
- Smile and say hello to a stranger
- Let someone behind you jump ahead in the grocery line
- Put your phone out of sight and be present in the conversation
- Buy a book for a student or colleague that you know they will love
Please find the complete list from educator and motivator Chase Mielke and start gently shaking the world today!