Episode Flyer for #83: Inclusion in Education- How and Why The Education System Needs To Change
Episode Flyer for #83: Inclusion in Education- How and Why The Education System Needs To Change

Guest: Roy Andersen                         Date: November 22, 2017             



[Intro music]


Debra:                     Hello everyone, this is Debra Ruh and you are listening to, or viewing, Human Potential at Work. Today I have a good friend that I’ve never met in person, but I love his work. I think that you probably are going to really enjoy getting to know about his work as well. His name is Roy Anderson. He is going to talk about inclusion in education and how the labels that we put on students sometimes get in the way, and we’re going to explore a lot of other things in relation to education. Roy, welcome to the program.

Roy:                          Thank you Debra. It’s delighted to meet you and to be here. Thank you so much.

Debra:                     Yes. I know today that you have a bit of a cold, so thank you for joining us despite being a little under the weather. Including your name being incorrect. If anybody sees it R-O-T, it’s not really, it’s R-O-Y, but sometimes we just have to move past that. Roy, thank you so much.

                                    Roy, take a few minutes and tell our audience who you are and a little bit about all the many books you’ve written on education.

Roy:                          You know Debra when I was a child in school, I would leave my parent’s home and I’d walk to school. I had a few friends of course, but I kind of wanted to be invisible. Most of my childhood I was kind of ridiculed because my ears stuck out or I had glasses on, so I didn’t have a lot of confidence. I thought that if I just went to school and I was nice and polite that the teacher would like me, and because he liked me I would get good marks. Well it kind of worked until the exams came. When I was 17 I received the notification that I had failed every single seven examinations they’d put me into. So I left school illiterate, probably, I went out into the wide world, did a few things. Then I went into the Army, and something happened in the army that really changed my life. I realized that I could do something if I really had to do it.

                                    So I went back into education with a different mind frame. Well in actual fact, when I was 20 I went to take the entrance examination and I sat mathematics and english. They wrote back to me and said I wasn’t good enough to even to begin the O-level course. So, I went into a bookshop and bought a book how to learn mathematics and how to learn english. I worked very hard and three months later I took the entrance exam. For the first time in my life, I came first in the mathematics and second in english. Then when I went into school, I decided this time I wasn’t going to trust the teachers, I was going to make sure that I knew everything. I got into the front seat, and when the teacher talked and I didn’t understand, I interrupted them. I learned, and I relearned everything. At the end of the first year I was the top student. I left eventually with 14 examinations pre-university level, enough to get into medical university. [inaudible 00:03:10].

                                    Then I did various things in my life. Then when I was about 38, I went to live in Denmark. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I just wondered if children had the same problem. I found out that nothing has changed. In 100 years nothing has changed in school. I was kind of interested in why the teachers were accepting the performance of the students because I knew that at 17 all my teachers would have said, “Well Roy is a nice guy, but he’s not very smart. He was probably born that way.” Yet different teachers at the age of 25 went, “God this guy’s a genius.”

                                    I knew it wasn’t genetic, it was other reasons why. Then I spent the past 30 years trying to understand what those reasons are. That’s why I wrote my books, to explain to people that it’s not a question of promoting intelligence, it’s more for removing the blockage. What is it that causes students or children at different ages to fail to link in with the movement of information? What causes them to be insensitive when they need to be sensitive? That’s basically what my work is all about.

Debra:                     You know your work really speaks to me on a lot of levels. I do a lot of work, as you know, and that’s why we met over social media, making sure that students with disabilities are included. As a student myself, I as a child there was a lot of trauma in my house. My household, my mom, she did the best she could, but there was just a lot of trauma. I never knew, things were always shifting. There was just a lot of trauma. The good news about the trauma is that it made me the person I am, so I’m not saying it to complain, but I had a similar experience. A little different from you in that I was not a very good student, and I didn’t really apply myself, or to be honest know how to apply myself. What I tried to do instead Roy was I just tried to be a good girl, stay under the radar so I wouldn’t get in trouble by anybody because there was so much emotional trauma at home.

                                    What I learned as I became an adult and I grew was that I’m not a bad student. That I’m actually an intelligent person, but I just bought into the fact that I wasn’t very smart. I’m just one of those not very smart people. But there were a few teachers that really stood out. I remember a Miss Dove in the eighth grade that she, it was her first teaching year. She loved history so much that I was like why is this young African American teacher love history so much, but she lit me up. She just lit me up on the stories, and history became my favorite subject. I realized partially because it was about stories. Now I am mad consumer of data, and I love your books. Love, love, love your books and what you’re saying, but I do wonder why we don’t notice … I don’t want to be unfair to our teachers because teachers, especially looking at it from the lens of the United States where I live, teachers are very overburdened. They have way too many students. You put in special education … There’s so many problems.

                                    I had a professor tell me in college one time that, because I had written a paper, and he said it was one of the worst papers he’d ever read, and whatever I do I should never go into any kind of work that I had to write, or journalism, or anything like that because I was awful. I was awful. Of course at the same time he was also asking me out on dates even though he was married to my French teacher, so there was this weird dynamic. But I took his words of saying what a bad writer I am, and it took me many, many, many years to dismantle that, especially as an author. I’m an author now Roy. So you can do damage to people along the way, or you can enhance them. Go ahead Roy.

Roy:                          I’m so sorry, what did you just say? I gave some help on Facebook about some words. English words. One lady was very worried that she got it wrong. I replied to her, no, you didn’t get it wrong, you’re just developing with the [inaudible 00:07:42]. She replied to me, she was so happy that she wasn’t a failure. This is why. So then I can talk just a little bit about some of the books I have written here. So you know the first one to me is the illusion of education. And this really strikes at, why do we process kids, or students, the way we do. Why is it teachers just walk in, give out information whatever way. Analyze or estimate, evaluate the response that they get and then work beside the kids or the students. And then move them on. Why is it that we don’t really struggle to understand how we can help them better?

                                    Of course individual teachers will do, but there are a lot of teachers who just move on with the processing because that’s how they trained them, conditioned to do that. And so this book. The Illusion of Education, it actually begins with some questions like, a mother who doesn’t understand why her son is being excluded for dyslexia. One of the things I talk about here is the role of [inaudible 00:08:41]. What happens is … And this is really the blockage. This is the problem of education, is that if your mind at any age, if you’re thinking about something that worries you. And to us it’s a bank statement or something like that, but to a kid in school it’s being ridiculed. It’s being left out. It’s not being accepted. In whatever way, because of whatever. They don’t have the right clothes, their nose is the wrong shape, or whatever.

                                    This actually causes a chemical disturbance in the brain. Which we call, it’s a neurotransmitter cortisol. And what cortisol does is that it rises up and it clouds the part of the brain that deals with analytical thinking. And it makes the brain concentrate on the fear. The idea is to deal with the fear so that you don’t get killed. But in all the kids in school this cortisol level’s going up and down, up and down. And the kids are going like this, whatever.

                                    If we spent more time understanding this role of cortisol, and why the teacher giving mediation, meditation, calming down music. Love can get the cortisol down, and calmness for the children to focus more. That also brings in another neurotransmitter we call, of course, dopamine. The big problem now in school is game addiction. This is horrendous the effects of game addiction.

                                    We actually know that the brain is disorganized by these kind of signals from smart phones. But what happens is that when a child becomes addicted to games, and you know I travel around and I see two year olds playing with smart phones and their mothers think, my child’s learning, whatever. These programs, 80% of them, a Sega, a Nintendo, are designed for aggression. It’s to get to the next level, get to the next level. They’re programming the mind of the child to be narcissistic. I don’t care about other people, I care about me and my game. I don’t want to go and play, I don’t want to share something with you, I want to do the game.

                                    This is of course changing their whole personality. It’s making the kids apathetic. We never wanted to go to school, but they have a purpose not to go to school, their purpose is to get home and play the game. This is a tremendous problem, but we’re not just talking about the kids we’re talking about the mother and father of the next generation. And so on. So we need to concentrate on this, it’s global.

                                    So this bullying cortisol and game addiction or Dopamine are very serious problems that conflict when the brain is trying to pass signals to one another. And so it all comes down to love and stories. You’re absolutely right about stories. And I tell teachers, if you can, try to begin every lesson with some kind of human story. Something that strikes to the heart of each student, and they identify with the purpose of the lesson. That’s one thing.

                                    One of the big fears that I’ve got, is that … And you mentioned the stress that the teachers are in, in every country. They’re leaving. Get out I don’t want this, I’m out of it. The problem is, that as a friend of mine, Randy Gordon told me, that in America there are 3.7 million teachers, half of those are eligible for retirement right now. That’s it, they’ve got the pension. But 250,000 are leaving education in the states every year. But the system is only [inaudible 00:12:15] for 10,000 of those. Once they have completed their education, 40% don’t go into education. They’ve got a certificate, which they use in industry.

                                    We’re looking at an unbelievable situation of about 250,000 leaving being replaced with about 60. So I was told that in the state of Arizona, I think it was Arizona, there was something like 1.300 empty classrooms because there aren’t enough teachers. So, that means that the kids have to be packed in with more teachers. And this makes a very serious problem here, because we are believing that children can learn from computer programs, and this is a big mistake. They can learn certain things, but it doesn’t change the way they reason it just improves the kind of reasoning they’ve developed. In all this it teaches them … It deprives them of learning through a human experience. So they don’t develop empathy to each other and this is something that we so much got to promote in school.

Debra:                     I agree, I agree. Let me make a few comments on all the really cool things that you just said, because I think the points that you made are very powerful. A couple of things, I know that you mentioned gaming, but I’m going to broaden that out a little bit and I’m going to say it is not just gaming, I know that my daughter, Sarah, you know we’ve talked about Sarah before Roy, but Sarah has down syndrome and Sarah has really, really struggled with being addicted to her smart phone and she’s doing some gaming but some of it is social media that she’s addicted to. It has become a really big problem in our household. Later on in a few months I’m going to have a designer of an app, it’s called Our Pact. O-U-R pact P-A-C-T. And this ap for $1.99 you can get a free version, but it has allowed me to work with Sarah.

                                    I turned off her device. We’ll talk more about it on her show, I don’t want to take too much time, but I’ve actually had to step in and help her manage because I found that the longer I let her stay on the device, no matter what she was doing. She wasn’t doing anything bad per se on there. She would post some weird pictures. Not inappropriate just odd pictures, like her with grape juice running down her mouth and she’s like, I’m a vampire. So I would prefer her not post that. Relatively innocent but her behavior changed, and it got really problematic in our house and so we are still managing it but these devices they call to us like sirens and it’s hard to move past them and it’s huge issue. And I also want to say, another comment before I turn it back over to you.

                                    I have one of my really, really dear friends, her name is Terry Dickson and she has been a school teacher, fifth grade school teacher, for many years. She’s one of those people that are past eligible for to retire. She has such a … I love her, she’s this beautiful soul, and she loves her kids and she champions them, and she’s one of those school teachers that you want. I also have several other really good younger friends that got their teaching education, most of them in special education, they went into the school system. One of them quit after one year, one quit after three. It’s so discouraging. The system is very broken, it’s very hard for the teachers. We underpay our teachers. There’s so many different problems it’s almost overwhelming. I think that’s why your work speaks so much to me. I think that there’s some beautifully gifted teachers and administration and parents who want to support them, but we really do have to look at education of all students. Including students with disabilities in different ways.

                                    I love the cortisol example that you gave, because as I’ve walked the path as a mother, as an individual, as a friend, there’s a lot of moving parts. I want to say one more thing before I turn it back over to you Roy. When I was talking to my friend Terry. She told me they’re now teaching mindfulness in the schools in Virginia. I said, Whoa, whoa, what? She said, well, we actually are teaching meditation mindfulness and we’re explaining how, and she gave me, and I’m not going to do it justice, but she gave me an example of some of the lessons. I remember as she was explaining it, she had this way of doing it, like she held her hand up and she was explaining what your brain does.

                                    Telling stories, she said that her classroom, since they’ve started teaching it, the children are a little bit calmer and they’re a little bit kinder to each other. Their grades are better, just with these little exercises they are doing with mindfulness. I felt so proud that my state, the Commonwealth of Virginia, is doing this. I’m hoping that other states are doing it as well. She’s seen tremendous value just in her own classroom.

Roy:                          Well yeah, absolutely. I remember talking to a professor in India, you know, yoga background. He guides his teachers to teach meditation before their lesson begins and that has a great effect. You talk about Sarah and I heard on the news a couple of weeks ago, so distressing, they were talking about crime in the UK. I couldn’t believe that a tax on disabled people have risen by 25% in the UK. That’s so sick isn’t it? I couldn’t believe it. Just talking about again, how Sarah’s become trapped by this thing.

                                    I was in Turkey at a meeting, and at the end of the meeting a man came up to me almost crying. He said Roy can you please come and see my son? I can’t stop him playing games, he plays seven hours every day. The parent was out of his mind. He just didn’t know how to destroy this. He had the same problem, of course, as we all do. At that time I lived in Denmark and my children when there were probably 11 and 14, something like that. I thought I’ll get a computer and they can learn from it, they can play these games. So we got this computer screen and everything else like that, you have to find something, you find something else. I played it and it was great fun, exciting. I got the [inaudible 00:19:12] and they got the sandwiches and crisps and coca cola and I went upstairs and I was packing away my work. I was sitting there and I thought world war three had broken out.

                                    I ran down and these sweet little children were pulling hair out of each other and I thought, oh god, I got to stop this. I dismantled all the computer, took all the cables out, and I said that’s it, no more. I took the cables away and I hid them. And the girls went into their bedrooms and it was all quiet. Then they returned to being happy children. I felt really bad, I thought, what am I doing? I can’t stop this. Because, they were so happy before they fought. So I went down the next day and I reconnected all the cables. I said, now please don’t fight. Okay, dad, no problem. You know?

Debra:                     We won’t fight.

Roy:                          Yes. They were having fun, they were typing away. Oh my god, I thought it was a big invasion. I went downstairs, one of them had bit the other one on the leg and I thought, this is it, it’s got to go. [inaudible 00:20:19] so it has to go. So I took the machine out, we live by a railroad, and I just threw it in the river. I thought oh god now they’ll lock me out, they won’t let me in. Thing was that when I went in the house was quiet. And they’d gone into their room and they were reading their comic, or their magazine, or their books, or playing with their dolls. Whatever. And it was fantastic. So we never had a computer, or a game for them to play with. My youngest daughter has got back at me now because she is now a computer expert.

Debra:                     Computers can be used for good.

Roy:                          She says to me, Dad I keep telling these things it’s just going to mean I don’t need the instructions to do this, do this, do this. Like that, but it works.

                                    One of the things, we all know about the bell curve that was published in 1996. And the effect of that. Actually I was deeply involved in … I mean I began my studies round about 95. So that was kind of new at the time and I didn’t even know what the bell curve was at that time. But then I began the second book, which really does prove that, first of all you can’t measure intelligence, and I don’t know what actually you think it is. Some pop ups come up. And how much lies and misunderstanding there is in the concept that there is intelligence that you can measure and human beings can be differentiated by it.

Debra:                     A little, right.

Roy:                          Well yeah, of course. I went a lot into the bell curve, and how it came about and all the lies and real twists of truth that very eminent psychologists did to create a belief within the society that ability is inherited on a social basis. And then of course having done that. Then I concluded the whole thing by proving that … There was a wonderful lady called Nancy Bailey who designed the best infantile testing system in the world and for over 50 years it was something like 5,000 children in the system.

                                    She found out that between the ages of 4 to 14 there is no decernable difference in the ability of an infant in language or response. After 14 months it becomes determinable on the social background or the academic background of the parents, however, at the ages of two, three, four and five there is absolutely no prediction as how that child will preform later in school. And then I talk about, we knew about the bell curve or the discerning distribution curve there is another one called the perceived distribution curve, which actually eliminated the average and it completely proves that we can not alive [inaudible 00:23:13] to a genetic base. However, and then having proven that intelligence as we understand it is not inherited, what then is intelligence?

                                    Then I wrote this book, and I studied neurology with some very eminent neurologists in Denmark. Which basically comes down to the ability to respond is based upon two things. Emotion and language. And this brings like cortisol we were talking about, in motion. If you’re happy you’re content [inaudible 00:23:43] Then you’re sensitive to what’s happening and then your ability to be sensitive is relied upon the words and experiences that you’ve learnt from other, so this is emotion language that wishes intelligence.

                                    The next book I wrote is Mediation, Crafting Intelligence through Chart. Wonderful examples of how wrongly we get our information. We assume that the ability of a student it relied upon their ability to understand us not our ability to teach them. Have you an example about this? I had a problem with my Mac and I got on to one of these technical experts and he does this thing ten times a day, but for me it was, where’s the button. He said to me, okay, do this, do this, do this. I thought, oh my God, you know? Right like that. He said, okay, I’ll tell you again, you do this, do this. I can’t, I didn’t write it down. And he said to me, now you understand. I had no idea what he was talking about. But if I was in a class of other kids they would have thought, oh, Roy’s stupid.

Debra:                     Right, right.

Roy:                          The whole meaning is, we assume because we know, or the teacher knows and because they do it again and again and again. That children can very quickly pick it up. We have to so much help children to really relearn what we thought they learned in the past. And then of course, then I wrote this book. Preparing a New World education. And it looks at some of the kind of classic problems that we have.

                                    Something I want to show you here. You know we teach kids, this is actually very interesting here, you know we teach kids in the primary school how to write, and we give them like two lines like that. And we say okay, here’s some dots and you write an A and an A like that. And you just go through a number of lessons. And then they get more straight lines and they say okay, write and A. And the kid writes an A like that, well you can see it like that. And the problem is this teacher doesn’t know how to get the kids to realize that all his A’s should be the same height. Because they’re not taught, they don’t teach them how to think. They’re just teaching the children how to copy. So they’re mindlessly copying.

                                    And this is how education works, is they just give kids information and rely upon the child’s sensitivity to be interested in copying that. So what I did was I actually taught a girl in Russia, Sasha, she was seven years old and doesn’t speak very good English. And of course, in Russia, they have a different kind of an alphabet. Cyrillic. In three lessons, by teaching the girl how to understand scale, she did this. And remember, you know, this Russian girl is in another country, and look at what she did. It’s so beautiful. You can see that all those letters are consistent. Lowercase.

Debra:                     Yes, very easy to read. Right?

Roy:                          But anyway. Then I thought, okay, what really is education. Now we like to think that education is about giving kids a happy time. It isn’t, if it was there’d be no government funding. The only purpose of education to produce a citizen [inaudible 00:27:11] the predicted oncoming technology. And the way education works is that our society doesn’t want people to be too smart it wants an element of people to be smart, who will be the managers in society and industry and the rest to follow and go along and be happy in their lives. And that was the concept was the processing of education came out of the processing of the industrial revolution.

                                    Of course, we are now moving into totally different kind of revolution, which some people mistakenly call the fourth industrial revolution. I hate that. There was only one industrial revolution. That went from 1750 to 1950. Then we had the computer revolution. But now we’re moving into nanotechnology. And I’ve written a great deal about the real possible OSHA effects of nanotechnology. And how that can radically disturb the economic base of every country around the world. And in a sense create a global union of nations.

Debra:                     Roy, let me interrupt you for a second and ask you a couple of questions. I know that as your work has progressed you have done a lot of work about the labels, about children that are labeled with dyslexia, with ADHD, with different labels and how you really recommend that we don’t focus so much on the label and focus more on abilities and training people better. So how does all your work tie in to children that are being labeled? Because children are being labeled like never before and we’re labeling them to try to help them and try to get them the support that they need.

                                    I know when our daughter was labeled with down syndrome, which she has, she has this extra chromosome, her education path shifted dramatically, as it should have, but a lot of the education my daughter got was, she was babysat. She wasn’t, I remember at one point they wanted her to go and work parttime during the school day and she wasn’t reading. I said, I really would rather you all teach her to read, because she needs to know how to read. So how does your work relate a little bit? I want to explore a little bit more, that. Then we can talk more about your next book. I want to make sure that we address that, because I know the audience is interested in it.

Roy:                          Yeah, you know this is so important. I think it struck me when I began to teach. I remember going to this classroom and there were all these kids, 30 kids there. There was one boy who was just playing around. And I said to him, why? Why aren’t you writing. Well I’m dyslexic, I’m excused. I don’t have to do that. And I thought, hmm? So I gave him some questions about vowels and he understood. And then I thought, well lets spend some time with this child and find out, you know, if he can construct words, and he could. I was really amazed by this, and I thought, okay, I’ve got to meet the parents.

                                    So, I made the mistake of going along to the home and the mother was terrified. Because the father was very aggressive man, and what really happened was that he bullied his child. So the child was too frightened to think. He just couldn’t, the cortisone went up, up. The boy couldn’t think. And because he couldn’t, the teachers thought he’s got a learning problem. Therefore, he’s dyslexic, therefore rubber stamp and that was it. And I had so much experience, in fact I’ve worked with a lot of kids and adults who were said to be dyslexic and I found out that they weren’t they had an emotional problem that prevented them from learning at the very basic stages of their education.

                                    I knew one child, Matthew was his real name, and he was 17 years old and what I found out is I asked him to write something for me. I noticed that when he began a word it was very beautiful and then halfway through the pressure on his fingers go white and he’s scribbling so you could read half the word but not the next half. And it was really strange to see a sentence of half a word legible and then non-legible, and half legible and then non-legible. I thought, what’s going on here, and his mother said, we took him to a doctor, he’s got a nervous tremor in his hand, and therefore he’ll be like that the rest of his life. But I’ve seen Matthew doing things and he didn’t have that when he was happy, it was only when he was stressed.

                                    So, what happened was that I talked about it and I found out that when Matthew was a child. When he began school he was fat. He wasn’t at 17 but when he began he was fat. And kids laughed at him. And he didn’t want to go to school. But he had to. So when his mother took him, his mind closed down. And when the teacher was saying A E I O U, he didn’t hear it, it was a blur to him. And therefore, because he couldn’t hear it, then the letters became blurred, and then he had a problem with his vowels. And then he would go on to school and then he was so nervous about writing that he couldn’t calm down. And as soon as he started to realize, I can’t do this, I can’t do this. Oh my God, struggle.

Debra:                     He would mess it up.

Roy:                          Yeah, and really just by giving him love, and calm down and making him laugh at something, he solved his problem. There was another child, a woman, a lady. There was a national article about me in the newspaper, and she called me from the south of Denmark and said I wonder if you could please meet my son, he can’t make a signature, so she brought him up and at this time we were dismantling the bathroom. Now the child, he was a boy, 15 or 16, and he arrived kind of thinking, God I’ve got a week of intensive education with this man, I don’t want to do this.

                                    We didn’t do anything, we just smashed tiles up, dug holes and played football. In the evening, I said okay, lets make a signature. So we did a funny face. And we’d do funny faces, and that’s all we did. And then his mother picked him up, and she actually became a great friend of mine, and she said to me, Roy, you know, something happened after that. And her son, kind of got confidence to write. And actually what I discovered while playing football with him, his parents had got divorced and this was a very big problem. And with no father he didn’t want to identify with himself, so that was the root of his signature problem. But I got a letter many years later, that said Dear Roy, Do you remember the student who couldn’t write a signature, he’s now got a job as a journalist in a newspaper.

Debra:                     That’s a wonderful story. Now Roy, I know that we are way past time, but you’re just so interesting to talk to. You’re just going to have to come back on the program again. But before, I want you to tell the people how to find your work. How can they find you on social media, how can they get your books. I know that you have other books that you didn’t get to talk about on the program, but tell … Is this the last one, the Memoirs of a Happy Teacher?

Roy:                          This is lovely yes.

Debra:                     I love that title.

Roy:                          It is, I would love to read a little bit. Can you give me a minute, can I read it?

Debra:                     Absolutely, absolutely.

Roy:                          Okay, I’ll try to read a little bit quickly, because it’s just two pages. This is really important, I call it chapter one, Thomas. I had to help a child who had fallen over and grazed their knee. I find myself running a little late for my noon class. I wonder as I turned tears into a smile how many other teachers always carry a few plastics with them. As I walked along the now empty corridor, with no sound coming from behind the closed door of each classroom I passed, it was almost as if the school was deserted. This however, was an illusion, shortly to be shattered. I turned the handle and barely opened the door to my classroom when I was greeted with the sound of a girls scream. A boy running [inaudible 00:36:07] chased by another. And I watched, mesmerized for a moment, as a paper airplane sailed through the air before hitting a light shade and then crash dived to the floor.

                                    Here we go again I thought. The thing is, that if you want to teach kids, you have to stop being an adult. At least on the surface. So, while few had noticed I entered the room, and instead of shouting at them to try to bring order, I became a pied piper to my little class. Pretending I was playing a trumpet. I, 50 years of age, began to dance merrily up the aisle between the desks, not taking notice of anyone, but aware of a boy who had quickly realized this could be a great game, and he come behind me playing his invisible drum. This caught on like wild flower. Kids who moments before were running, laughing, crying, shouting, in an unimaginable frenzy, were now following me, in a line around the desks. Chairs, fields, meadows, streams, and hunters on their minds.

                                    I noticed from entering the room, one boy who was happily sitting under his desk. As I brought my troops back to their desks I tried to encourage this child to come out from under his, but he only grinned back, and remained firmly where he was. I knew not to try to ease him out. He would have resisted, or only moved under another desk, or shot back the moment I released him. This was his game, he’d resisted longer than others in his class the transition from free childhood to the civilized conformity that would be required of him by school. He was delighted when I let him stay where he was, while I addressed the rest of the class. He laughed out loud when I looked down at him, pretending that I’d forgotten where he was. There was usually such a character in a class. A clown who plays to attention, but instead of shouting at him I played along.

                                    I asked all the students to join me as I crawled under a desk and sat near him. Now, I told them, let’s begin the lesson. And this is how we started, all sitting under desks. All happy, and none [inaudible 00:38:05] expected. As the time of the lesson moved, I started to show them how painful it was for me, for my back to sit like this. So I moved to sit against the wall. The children joined and sat around me, except, that is, for my little friend. So I played a game with him, until he eventually decided to crawl out from where he was and sit with a group. As I carried on with the lesson, I found that he moved closer to me, and after some time, came to lay his head on my legs. This was just love, what he needed.

                                    The next lesson was also held on the floor, and the one after that. It took me about a month to get all, and I mean all, sitting behind their desks for the lesson. In the fifth week, I open the door, and there was my star pupil sitting on his chair, behind his desk, with a huge grin on his face. Thomas turned out to be the pupil who asked me the most questions in a lesson, and won the highest marks at the end of the year.

Debra:                     That’s a beautiful story. I love your work Roy. How do you … Tell our listeners and viewers how to get your books.

Roy:                          Well, I have a website, which is www.andersenroy.com which is A-N-D-E-R-S-E-N-R-O-Y dot come. They are also available on amazon, but I get ripped off there, I don’t get much out of it. [inaudible 00:39:27]

Debra:                     So, go to your website, andersen A-N-D-E-R-S-E-N Roy dot com.

Roy:                          Yes Please.

Debra:                     Right, and also, I know you’re on Facebook and other social media mediums.

Roy:                          Yeah, I’ve got about 5500 people on Linkedin which is great, and from around the globe, and a lot of people on Facebook, and I’ve been invited to go to Argyria to give a teacher training course in December, and I’ve met-

Debra:                     [inaudible 00:39:57]

Roy:                          Nice people, and I’m really looking forward to that.

Debra:                     Yeah, I think you have a very important voice, and I think you and I should write an article for Huffington Post about some of the conversation we had today. So, I look forward to continuing the conversation with you Roy. So, thank you for joining us, and thank you for everyone that supports the program. Please help us by sharing what you’re doing and subscribing to the podcast, and let me know what we can do better, some guests we can have. We definitely will have Roy back on the program because, I think his work is really, really important to the world right now. So, Roy, thank you so much.


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You’ve been listening to Human Potential at Work with Debra Ruh. To learn more about Debra and how she can help your organization visit RuhGlobal.com. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and you want to make sure that you don’t miss any future epsiodes, go to itunes and subscribe to Human Potential at Work. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll be back next week with a new episode.