Gentle Teaching Philosophy
Gentle Teaching is not what we do, it's how we do!
Being gentle towards everyone is based on unconditional love. It is accepting of one another through our flaws and strengths. Gentle Teaching demands of ourselves to change before changing others. As caregivers, we recognize that change is mutual and we grow together. This is interdependence. We all need each other.
We, as supports, are the most valuable tools conveying the message that you are safe, you are loved, and as a result, you are loving and engaged. We are messengers of non-violence, forgiveness, empathy and total acceptance. Our central purpose is to teach the value of companionship and to develop a sense of community with those we support.
First, we must communicate that it is safe to be with us by our words, looks, presence and touch. We must ensure the person feels valued and know they are good. To achieve this we use the four tools of gentle teaching:
- To feel safe with each other
- To feel loved by each other
- To feel loving towards each other
- To feel connected with each other
Words are the most powerful tool in a culture of gentleness. We must be very aware at all times of the words we choose. They are the tone of our voice, the cadence of our speech, and the expression on our face.
Touch is more than just a hug. We must be respectful of others as not everyone wants to be touched. Touch is a mutual understanding of companionship.
Presence is being in the moment and sharing those moments together. Showing a genuine interest in others. Presence also includes your mentality, as well as, your physical body being fully engaged with others.
Eyes are truly the window to the soul. They never lie. They are even sometimes one's only means of communication. We must be cognitive of the messages that others eyes are sending.
Gentle teaching is a way of life. It is a journey of supporting people with gentleness and acceptance. We are walking this road together.
Gentle Teaching Resources
Saskatchewan Alternative Initiatives