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  • Skribentens bildSuzanne Axelsson

Reflections 2018-19

It is the last day of 2018, and I am siting reflecting over the year that has been and over the year to come...

So what are my take away reflections for this year?

I think for me it is just how much everyone tends to emotionally react... and that emotions seem to be getting in the way of education.

Now I am all for empathy, and the need for emotions, especially in a line of work that deals with people... but what I mean is that in dialogues about change people are reacting with emotion and are not taking the time to understand... and emotion tends to allow a person to see things in a black and white manner rather than the amazing complex spectrum that life is.

Whether it is gender, risky play, outdoor play, neuroscience etc there tends to be people who react with a black and white approach and srgue from a place of emotion than a place of wisdom.

I get that we are not all going to agree, that we have different perspectives... and that we can never truly put a point across devoid of our emotions... but we all need to take a breath and reflect on what is the other person trying to communicate and why does it make me feel this way? I also think that media is making all of this worse... writing inflammatory articles that get the readership but also pitch the topic of conversation into a back and white dialogue... it is deliberately trying to make people have a strong emotion for or against without actually helping people to understand an approach or what is actually happening. It is creating a world of them and us.

I want to be a part of a world of we.

This is why I want to make clear that when I gives talks, presentations and workshops or consult... that the financial side of this is completely non-profit. Sure, I will take some of the money to be able to live, but all profits will be used to ensure that I can do voluntary work... pay for travel, resources etc so that I can support educators that otherwise would not get access to training of this kind.

So by paying for my services you will be enabling me to help others. Not least to continue my work in Palestine... either over there or from here in Stockholm (as we have educators coming here to see how the education system works - and I donate all my time, and resources we use to ensure they get the most out of the trip)

In 2019 I have some things already lined up, some things that are in the process of being finalised and also space for new things!

In January I will be holding a lecture via skype at Liverpool John Moores about my work in Palestine, In March I will be holding lectures at Stockholm University connecting museum visits and natural science projects, and also hosting educators from Palestine. In April I will be in Athens to hold a keynote at Play on Early Education together with some other great keynote speakers... Peter Gray, Tom Hobson, Meynell Walter and Takahru Tezuka. I also have some dates booked for preschools in Sweden wanting to learn more about philosophy with children, democratic learning and listening. In October I will be heading towards Australia... essentially because my husband, John, will be a keynote speaker in Sydney (he is a sleep researcher, in case you have not been following my blog for long, and not already know this) - and I hope to be able to hold some workshops when I am there...

I feel very excited about 2019. I feel 2018 has been an interesting year where I have been able to find my voice more... and watched my own children find their own voices... one daughter is the trainer for the underwater rugby team in Lysekil, and also plays for the national team, as well as training children in swimming and sports (this has encouraged her to think of becoming a teacher). Her twin sister has become more and more vocal in sustainability... environmental and social sustainability. She is protesting, standing side by side with Greta Thunberg, starting to write articles, and has made the decision to buy second hand clothes etc to reduce the impact on our planet through consumerism... we support this of course and have cut out plastic bags, straws, Christmas presents, and made sure we ate all of the food from out Christmas dinner... we used EVERYTHING and we ate Christmas dinner in different formats for 5 days!!

My son has finally found his purpose in school... it is still a struggle, but he has a new attitude and determination, and this is truly truly the most amazing thing of all. To watch him experience pride when he succeeds... because now he is actually daring to do the work!! I think daring to do something is so important... there is always the risk of failure, but being brave to face the fact that everything we do means accepting the chance of failing...

Anyway, my new Year wish is the same as always...

may my and your new year be filled with glorious mistakes!

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