| By Tina FireWolf |
My first year of teaching was tough. Not tough like beef jerky, but more like wet frozen blue jeans being wrung out in one of those turn-of-the-century washing machines with the hand cranked “spin” cycle… yep, that kind of tough.I was hired to teach and inspire pre-teens in the world of Science. Yet, what I found they truly were hungry for was to be opened up to the land within, and learn the Science of Self.
Lunch break was over; I raced to beat the bell. Frantically chewing my last bites of food, I opened the classroom door with a clang-bang racing to turn the lights on when I saw a note lying on the floor. It said, “You teach us so much more than Science… thank you.” A dagger pierced my heart… they were listening. “Oh crap,” I thought, “What had I said?!”
During my eight years as a middle-school Science Educator I enjoyed many heart-felt conversations with my students. They often asked for my advice, so I wove it into my Life Science lessons. Honestly, Mr. Gregor Mendel’s genetic pea plant experiment wasn’t on the top of the list of things they were dying to know; they wanted to know about life.
What follows are the top four “snippet conversations” I had with various middle-school students—male and female. No matter whom we are and how long we interact with a child, we impact them just by how we present ourselves. I believe it is each of our responsibility to reflect to young women who they really are… amazing beings capable of anything.
The bell rang; kids were rushing out of the room like a fleet of fire trucks with sirens and lights flashing. One of my more rebellious female students who had a wonderful sense of self said to me, “Guess what? … I’m getting my tongue pierced!” I could tell in her voice she wanted me to overreact, and show I disapproved. I smiled deeply at her and said, “Oh, really” as if she had just told me she bought a new pair of shoes. She went on to further impress me with her wild description of the piercing itself; size, color, etcetera. “Hmm, sounds interesting,” I said. She was perplexed that I hadn’t reacted. She then said, “So, what do you really think?” Now that I knew I had her attention, I said, “I would give it the 3-3-3 test.” “What’s that?” she asked. I instructed her to observe herself closely for three days and see if she wanted the piercing with the same intensity for all three days. If she were to waver at all, then she was to observe herself for three weeks, then move on to three months. I reassured her I had done this with myself and knew it worked; since periodically, I wanted a puppy. She had approached me on Friday, and on Monday came to me and said, “I am moving on to three weeks. You were right. I forgot about it by Sunday.” My heart smiled.
Interactions in the hallway would often set student’s moods for the entire class period. There was a lot of buzz on campus this day as Marijuana had been found in the backpack of a fellow student. They wanted to know what I thought about drugs. Pre-teens like to provoke a reaction with stories of what they did and thought. Usually they were dramatizations of the ego so I didn’t really cringe all that much; once I had called a parent and retold the tall tale… that seemed to curb their appetite for ego stories!
My response to what I thought about drugs… ” If you have to stop something some day… it probably isn’t worth starting… and that goes for relationships too… not just drugs.”
That always got them to sit and be very silent with wheels turning and smoke churning out of their ears. After all, I was the Science teacher; I was paid to make them think!
Girls seem to be worse at this than boys. At least three to five times a day I would have a student come up to me and ask, “What do you think?” My standard reply was, “You’re the only one that knows the answer to that very good question. I suggest you take some time with yourself to see how you feel about it.”
I did my best to show my students that if you run around looking outside of yourself for suggestions, ideas, inspiration, and opinions then you end up with a lot of voices in your head that aren’t your own. I further explained that making decisions needed to come from their own inner voice… a sense of strength from inside. Then once solid in their decision, they could choose wise council. However, wise council should be someone they trusted, respected and admired… preferably an adult.
One day, a little girl who typically always had to have a friend with her to feel secure (she didn’t seem to have her own identity at all), said to me: “Today at lunch I didn’t get pizza just because everyone else did… I did what you said… I listened inside myself and realized it makes my stomach sick, so I got a salad.” She was full of pride and a deeper sense of connection to herself and her own desires. I beamed.
“Ladies, stop waiting for someone to come along and make your life exciting… you are your own Prince Charming… fall in love with yourselves!”
The usual comment from them…“But, I am bored!” My usual response, “Well then, you are boring. Get out there and try something new, make a new friend, join a club, ride your bike, ask your parents to take you on an outing in nature. Life is unfolding now, not ten years from now, stop dreaming of the future and get on living!”
I found if you don’t keep students active and interested they find their own things to do. Chances are what they choose isn’t as wise and interesting as we had hoped! So I took matters into my own hands and started an Adventure Club than ran for six of my eight years. Kids flocked to go snow-shoeing, indoor rock climbing, and hiking. Most of the club participants were—you guessed it—girls.
Let’s get girls out there and involved in healthy, adventurous choices. We need to show them they are in charge of making their lives wonderful, romantic and real!
Funny how these still apply to us gals after all these years since middle school. Hats off to those on the journey home to Self. To those dedicated to being a loving, powerful woman for themselves and for young girls of the world to be inspired by!
Tina FireWolf is a Facilitator of Remembering, combining her feral farm girl upbringing, and experiential background in Science & Leadership with her rockin’ multi-dimensional healing abilities. Tina is Igniting the World to elevate & navigate their human experience and stop their spiritual spin. She shares the HOW of Self Leadership & Personal Healing by facilitating the “Remembering” – Empowering us to sing our Souls free and lead Everyday Enlightened Lives. Purchase her Contemplative Photography Book Beneath the Chatter: the wise self awaits or her CD Medicine Within – Vocalizations to Free Your Soul at TinaFireWolf.com or connect for a free consultation call.