TWO KEY WORDS IN EDUCATION | TEACHING IS PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT | TO TEACH IS TO LOVE
To be present with someone is to be with that person, is to pervade his/her personality. To be present is to be part and parcel of someone else’s life. It isn’t just a physical reality. When I am present in the life of someone I have occupied more than just a corner in the mind and heart of that person. I make him or her real to me. My presence is accompanied by feelings, all kinds of feelings, and sentiments. A mere recalling of my presence evokes the particular feelings that I have created in him/her.
Accompanying is a process. It amounts to ‘being with’ the children through the thick and thin of their life. It requires of the teacher to stand by/with the children even when things go wrong and when seemingly insurmountable problems arise. It means to traverse the territory of the students and walk the way along with them to the place they are headed to. It is a journey together. Accompanying becomes very demanding as far as the time to be spent with the children are concerned. The foundation of Presence and Accompanying is Love. To be a teacher is to love. We learn faster from people we love. We learn faster because we are loved. An atmosphere of trust and acceptance is the key to healthy growth.