One of my favourite books is ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. As the title suggests, the stories in this book are all connected to the taming and untaming we experience in our life.
In one of the opening chapters, Glennon recounts a trip to the zoo with her daughter, where together they excitedly watch the cheetah show. This cheetah, who goes by the name of Tabitha, is tamed. She has been raised alongside a labrador, meaning she will do everything the labrador does, including chase a pink bunny rabbit tied to the back of a truck to show the crowd just how fast she can run. But she has been tamed. Tamed to not run as fast as she can. Tamed to run only in the parameters of her enclosure. Tamed to run only when and whilst she can see the pink bunny moving. This is not instinctive, intuitive or driven by an inner sense of feeling free. This is taming.
At the end of the show, Tabitha glances just beyond the distance, looking, longing, but for what? She doesn’t know.
Just beyond the horizon, there, where you can’t quite make out what lies in the distance, there is more. You might of even have had a glimpse of it yourself.
As teachers, we have been tamed also. Tamed to teach a certain way, arrange our classroom a certain way, expect our students to learn in a certain way. Tamed by our past, how we were taught, the curriculum, the school setting, our training.
However, we also know, because we can sense it, feel it and perhaps see it, that it doesn’t have to always stay that way.
Somewhere in the distance, I have a sense there is more, a sense as teachers we can come together to create our own untaming, where we can also be free.
Take a moment to consider where your own taming may be getting in the way of freedom. A small change could make a significant difference.