Teachers possess two kinds of minds – the rational mind which is controlled by logic, deduction, data, and measurement, and the sympathetic mind which is controlled by affection, instinct, reverence, joy, and faith.
Teachers experience daily struggles with these minds as they each struggle to manifest in their collective behavior – controlling their actions via what they say or do.
Simply put, the rational mind is driven by the fear of being misled and being wrong. It seeks to remove everything that cannot be proven – empirically or experimentally – by fact.
The sympathetic mind on the other hand, is motivated by fear of error of a very different kind – the error of carelessness and of being unloving. It seeks to be considerate of whatever is present, to leave nothing out.
These two minds help teachers become rational, deductive and strategic when they face challenges.
The rational mind can help teachers in planning lessons and units by questioning the reason for a particular instructional strategy, assessment form, etc.
The rational mind does not entertain emotions such as affection, joy, love, etc. It does not dwell on human feelings and abstracts which aren’t really helpful in today’s world where information needs to be thoroughly scrutinized and verified.
Teachers need to understand that each mind functions according to the situation on ground.
For example, the rational mind will take over in situations that rely on pieces of evidence and fact; while the sympathetic mind will likely surface in situations when there’s need for empathy and kindness. They are both important.
Understanding this and using them to your advantage is important.
Teachers need to recognize the individuality of both minds, and combine them for the purpose of inclusivity and elevating their teaching processes.
This will not be an easy task because it would require adjustment on the part of teachers – seeing students in a different light, beyond the fear, distraction and superficiality that comes with handling them.
Teachers should model the significant practice of being human by virtue of their interaction with students and analysis of the students, while also going beyond the status quo, bypassing the superstitions associated with the teaching profession and conducting researches which are based on facts instead of emotions.
When teachers are mindful of both minds and ensure that none is left out, they would realize that one mind isn’t a whole, but merely an instinctive reaction to the volume or what is being done by them.
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