Education at its best is a deep act of care. If we care, then we will notice. If we notice, then we will act on a child's behalf.
Education at its best is a deep act of care. If we care, then we will notice. If we notice, then we will act on a child's behalf. If we act for each child, then each of our children will grow best, will achieve best, will become their best selves. To be known, to be noticed, to be valued, to be cared for: fundamental things for all of us, these are the essentials of a good childhood and they are at the heart of the St John's way.
In their learning and in their life at school, teachers devote themselves to knowing each child, to noticing and responding to each child's strengths, each child's needs. Our teachers and tutors are expected to know all that they can about the world of each child within and beyond school. We have rigorous frameworks for knowing and communicating about and acting for each child. We meet every week to discuss every child. We make a plan for every child. The children do not need to know of these things explicitly but they know that they are known and noticed, and the security they have in their relationships with teachers who truly know them and care about them is the springboard for their learning and the guarantee of their well-being.
A St John’s teacher relishes the chance to build real and affectionate relationships with the children. We may imagine childhood to be an untroubled time and for much of the time it is but growing up is an awfully big adventure and it is not always easy. Children need to trust us enough to share their worries. Every child has a ‘safety network’, a personal list of adults (and the occasional pet) to whom they would take their worries. Our tutors have time with each child, to listen and to hear their joys and concerns. No life and no community is without difficulty and occasionally unkindness will arise. And when it does, our children need to trust us to care, to understand, to listen and to help them resolve things. Most often this will happen between the children themselves in the presence of an adult, using the ‘dialoguing’ techniques we have taught them for solving their difficulties, learning to be responsible for themselves and each other.