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Appreciating the peace loving teacher

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2020

– by Hettie Brittz |

There she sits on a chair near the playground. Kids are climbing over her. They have peanut butter sandwiches. Soon, she is wearing them – both the kids and the peanut butter sandwiches. It is astonishing. Next, the kids want her to join their game and she isn’t fast enough for them. They scream and stomp their feet. She leans over and says kindly, “Sweety, Teacher is not going in the sandpit today, okay?”

The only way for me to make sense of such a scene is to understand that we truly are uniquely made. There is not a cell in that teacher’s body (especially nerve cells) that have anything in common with mine.  She is guaranteed to be labeled by moms and fellow teachers alike as too lenient, lazy, unstructured. So let me give her a positive label: She is a Pine Tree teacher. I picked the Pine Tree metaphor for the teacher with the cool and calm of a pine tree forest inside of her. Anyone who comes near her is compelled to sit down a little and rest. If there is a need, she empties out her tissue box, her handbag, and her pockets to help.

It does seem cruel that a Pine Tree teacher should have the children who bite, scream, and refuse to take their nap in the afternoons, doesn’t it? Still, wisdom often matches your child with the personality type who is your child’s opposite, because this is the personality that will shape them and be shaped by them.

What are the strong points of a pine tree teacher?


  • looks at the bigger picture with patience and tolerance towards your child and doesn’t make heavy demands
  • she creates a constant, warm, homely atmosphere where learning is not a race but a journey
  • is a “safe” person who forgives easily and believes the best about your child
  • sets a good example of self-control, tolerance, and patience
  • teaches your child
  • Not to look down on other kids
  • To accept “no” as an answer without manipulating
  • To differentiate between their domain and that of the parent and teacher
  • To lose gracefully and win with humility
  • To admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness
  • To speak with respect and tact
  • To be part of a team in class and to give other kids a chance to go first
  • To serve others

 If you’re a feisty mom, you may clash with this laid-back teacher. But the beauty of education is that our children get to sit in the shade of a variety of trees…


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