Freedom is understood, in a very elementary fashion, as the immediate release from oppressive bonds; as a cessation of corrections and of submission to authority. This conception is plainly negative, that is to say, it means only the elimination of coercion. From this comes, often enough, a very simple reaction: a disorderly pouring out of impulses previously controlled by the adult’s will. To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom. The result is children who are disorderly because order had been imposed upon them, lazy because they had previously been forced to work, and disobedient because their obedience had been enforced.
Let us always remember that inner discipline is something to come and not something always present.
The teacher’s skill in not interfering comes with practice, like everything else, but it never comes easily. It means rising to spiritual heights. True spirituality realizes that even to help can be a source of pride.
The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work. She must free herself from all preconceived ideas concerning the levels at which the children may be.