Please welcome our newest teacher, Zoe Scott. Her kind spirit and compassion for teaching are felt immediately once you see her in the classroom, and are truly wonderful to work alongside. Her first blog post below illustrates not only her beautiful way with words, but also the journey that many of our students can relate to. Her journey is inspiring and heartfelt. It shines a light on a challenge so many of us carry with us, and often, a reason why many of us later decide to become teachers, to make a positive change in the world of our students. We are lucky to have found someone who will have such a positive influence on our students. Welcome aboard, Ms. Zoe!
I can still feel the ice shooting from my fingertips as the knot in my stomach tightens. Yet another morning that I wake in a cold sweat, as the queasy feeling takes over. The symptoms may be all in my head, but to my 12-year old body, they are very real. I’m not sure when the thought of school first began to fill me with such anxiety. I had once loved to learn, and had looked forward to each school day with great anticipation. How did such a change occur?
The school system can be a difficult place for anyone, but it is extremely bumpy terrain for those who are different. I was the girl that never quite fit in, despite my desperate attempts. I never felt as though I was enough. Like a lot of others, I spent my adolescence afraid to raise my hand in class, though inquisitive fires burned inside my mind. I spent my days hiding my opinions, and cloaking my true essence in a thinly veiled disguise. This constant state of fear and inauthenticity slowly began to gnaw at my heart. I lost confidence… I lost opportunity…I lost myself.
My journey began a few simple online yoga tutorials. Yoga came to me like small droplets of rain that eventually grew into a stream. This practice gave me a sense of inner connectedness that I had never known. It pushed me to honour myself where I was, instead of in comparison to other people. Instead of turning down the volume on my thoughts in fear, it forced me to acknowledge them, to explore their roots, and to then release them. In doing so, I soon began to strive for growth rather than perfection. Moreover, I finally began a path of self-discovery and inquiry.
What I love about Via Vita Academy is that they see the value in this sense of questioning and soul-searching. They encourage uniqueness and push students to become lifetime students of the world, and explorers of the body, mind, and spirit. Inquiry can lead to strength and self-discovery, during a time that often feels so unstable. Adolescents in particular often find themselves feeling out of control. They are desperately trying to navigate the parameters of their new position between childhood and adulthood. Suddenly they are overwhelmed with responsibility, pressure, opportunity and choice. Moreover, with the increase in social media, they are constantly bombarded by external forces, telling them what to think and who then should be. This is why I am so excited to be able to help facilitate these aspects of yoga for the students of Via Vita, both on the mat and in the classroom.
Sometimes the noise of the world can become so loud, that it can muffle the sound of our hearts. For me, teaching is about helping students to listen to themselves, so that they can discover what they need, and how they might impact others. If students are ever to grow or make sense of the world, they must first have an understanding of who they are, and where they are in their journey. Next, they must learn to honour their inner light by learning to drown out negative self-talk. As we begin to respect ourselves, we ultimately begin to generate kindness toward others. It is in the tradition of yoga to end each class with the phrase “Namaste”, which loosely translates to “the light in me sees the light in you”. Each time I teach yoga to my students I like to end the class by saying “the light in me sees the light in you, and may you always see the light in yourself and the light in others”. For me, this is the ultimate goal of education-- to create students that strive to see the beauty and possibility in the world, that have the means to explore and question it, and the hearts to try to improve upon it.
Welcome to Our Blog
Each post is written by a supportive member of Via Vita Academy, be it a teacher, parent, student, community member, who is invested in the topic of education. Take a read and comment below!