OMATAS Blog

Of course you can go to the bathroom

When I started the school, one thing was abundantly clear to me, schools are typically highly hypocritical.

They ask children to listen to them and stop asking questions when it has just been explained, but when a child needs the bathroom, the answer is almost always, “No, you had a chance during break.” My previous work was in corporate facilitation and we often had to remind adult participants that they could go to the bathroom when ever they wanted to.

But back to schools, while they were telling me how inattentive my child was, they were the ones denying her reality. They wanted her to pay attention but when she noticed what her needs where they told her “No!”

When we want to teach a child something, we can’t be causing them to learn the opposite through our mindless rules and habitual responses. Just like the child that asked his mom why she cuts off the ends of the turkey and it turns out the reason was because her mom’s mom did it so the turkey would fit in her small oven. It is time for everyone to start questioning and rethinking what has become mindless and automatic.

Children don’t learn FROM their experiences, they LEARN THEIR EXPERIENCE. If we can remember that, we can create learning spaces that don’t break children down.

At Omatas, we first look around at all of our own behaviours and rules and habits to see if we are the ones creating the barrier. Then we remove those before we start to work on helping a child. A great example of this is our morning bell, we don’t have one. If I am trying to support a child who is battling with severe anxiety, ringing a bell to let everyone know he is late would only make things worse. So we do ring a bell, but only when everyone is at school and had a chance to shake off home and get ready for class. And the kids ring the bell so that they become the creators of the noise not just the consumers of it.

There are many ways we are vastly different, and always for at least three good reasons for each thing we do differently, come and see us if this could work for you.

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