Below is an excerpt from an article in Pathways, Summer 2010, Volume 15, Number 2.  Download entire Pathways article.

Find Your Inner Teacher

Next to the parents, a heart-inspired teacher is the most important thing for children. Pun intended.
Working with students of all ages, Lori Desautels, Ph.D., has honed the skills of teaching from the heart for more than 25 years. She has helped young people rise above a host of obstacles—environmental, physical and mental health challenges— and to shine. She now brings these special skills to “teach the teachers” in three university programs.

As the mother of two teenagers and a preteen, naturally she has gained a nourishing pantry of “kitchen table wisdom” as well. Lori has seen her own children’s minds evolve and spirits dance, when given the attention of mindful, caring teachers. “People of all ages know when you are listening, intuitively, for what they may need as well as what they say. They know if you’re fully present, in the moment with them. And we all learn more deeply from the safe space of feeling understood. We all want kinship.”

She adds that during middle school years—which is part of her own teaching experience—there’s a conflicted continuumof childhood, adolescence and maturity. “Suddenly, peers’ opinions may take on greater significance than anyone’s, which is ironic in that they’re all bubbling in the same hormonal stew. Especially if there’s a troubling ongoing situation, it’s essential that students not feel judged. At this age, kids gain exponentially from hearing reflective observations and ideas regarding options rather than pat answers; then they can shift from a victim mentality by gaining a greater sense of personal responsibility.”

Lori says her AIHT dissertation research is how she discovered a new educational calling. “I wanted to embrace academic science and spirituality together, and our school principal was supportive. During 40-minute classes for 14 weeks, two groups of students interacted on topics such as: 1. Thoughts are energy, and our thoughts present us with opportunities to act in positive or negative ways; 2. In scientific research, positive thoughts are more than 100 times more powerful than negative thoughts; 3. By choosing to shift our thoughts, students and teachers have the ability to shift many outcomes too. In these classes and subsequent groups, school attendance and GPA improved!”

Encouraged to share her findings with the Dean of Education at Marian University, Lori soon joined the Indianapolis Teaching Fellows as a graduate mentor/supervisor. She also oversees needs assessments within a transitional graduate program, Teach for America, and is an undergraduate instructor.
Her upcoming book is entitled How May I Serve You? A Revelation in Education. Through anecdotes and archetypal mythology, its message for future teachers is to bring esoteric intuitive skills into the mainstream classroom, to “Find your inner teacher.”

In its prologue, Lori writes: “In this new paradigm I encourage you to explore your own perspectives, to see how rigid or pliable they feel. The contrast provided by opposing events or circumstances is the gift IF we choose to experience it that way… if we have the eyes to see and the imagination to delve into the active life of teaching and learning.”

Image Caption: “Ferris Wheel,” a poem by Lori Desautels, Ph.D., was chosen for Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience. Also featured among its 180-plus contributors from 43 countries are interviews with metaphysicians Marianne Williamson and Rev. Desmond Tutu, and creativity innovator Julia Cameron.