Teaching Moral Values 道德价值教育

It takes a village to raise a kid.  A child learns from everyone she interacts with.  Since the most amount of time is spent in school, what she learns in school from teachers and friends is critically important.

My new best friend

A young skinny girl wearing goggles approached me in the pool. After a few seconds of staring at me, she said to me “who are you?”
Startled by the question from someone who looked less than ten years old, I hesitated while maintaining a smile and asked her to repeat her words.
“Who are you?”
Now the question is clear and I had to respond. “I am a swimmer.” I said.
“Oh” she seemed to have been delighted whereas I was mystified.
“You know, yesterday in the shower. I am sorry that I took a long time.”
Now I remember. Yesterday after family swim a lot of people were waiting in line for shower. For some reason her shower took a long time. The wait was so long that my very good-natured and patient children began to look like they wanted to go home. I finally lost patience and began telling whoever in the shower to speed up. And I repeated my demand with increasing volume.
Now that I remember who she is. I smiled genuinely “oh I am sorry that I shouted at you.”
After a few seconds of thought over my apology, she said “are you sure that you were patient enough? you know you should not be shouting”
…, …
We held quite a long conversation right in the water. In the end we both were content with the knowledge that each of us is a reasonable and good human being.

We now are friends. I almost feel that she is a very good friend because we can reason with one another, even though she is eleven.  I think the feeling is mutual.  Because she just asked me to help her find her lost earring from the deep big pool.

Slow is fast in teaching children

Stephen Covey, in “7 Habbits of Highly Effective People”, described how relationship with people is “slow is fast”.  The faster or “efficient” you want it to be, the slower it is.  The slower you are in developing the basis of a genuine relationship, the faster the relationship builds.

Shark by Elizabeth

Digital art by Elizabeth

The same is true for teaching young children.

Be slow, very slow, try to understand what he/she understands and does not understand.   We each live in our world and can be universe away from what a young child’s world is if we assume our logic is universal.   To assume every child must be fast learner without any difficulty is stupid and robotic.

Actually, everyone, except the rare few, learns fast when the start is slow because our minds need the time to link the new with the old.    Like a building, only if you take the time to make sure foundation is solid can you build a tall one that does not collapse soon.

Sit down on the floor, so that you are lower than the child.  Now look up at the face of the angel and ask her “can we play a game together? If one hand has 5 fingers, then how many fingers I will have if I have 3 hands…”