Have you had a visit from any previous children who are now at school? How amazing do our former students look in their new school uniform. This time of year, really pulls at the heart strings when we see our children grow and take on the next stage of life. Which brings me to a deep philosophical discussion. There was a famous German philosopher called Martin Heidegger and he wrote an incredible book called Being and Time where he talks about inauthentic living and authentic living. Very simply put, Heidegger says we can’t know ourselves to live in an authentic way until our whole world is thrown into chaos. We get to the point of not being able to turn back to the familiar but left in an unknown dark place then the new way to live will reveal itself. When I think of our new school children, I think of Heidegger and how children should discover who they are in this new school environment they are thrown into which is very different to their previous life.
If we look at ourselves we have moments when we are thrown into a dark place where we can’t turn back, but we don’t know the way out. This is where we can really know ourselves. At this point many new possibilities reveal themselves that allow us to move forward. Our changes don’t need to be as dramatic as a new environment. It might be a new unfamiliar situation that we have not dealt with as an educator. At this point we can let it go and move back to the familiar, or move forward to a place where we know nothing and find ourselves in the authentic way. Welcome to critical reflection.