I have known Barbara Rabin for the last fifteen years as a mentor teacher, colleague, and friend. She has a unique and far-reaching approach to her work with children, based on a philosophy of deep emotional and interpersonal awareness.
When I came to Barbara as a student teacher, she immediately recognized the natural abilities I was bringing to a new profession, and encouraged me to create, think, and learn through my teaching. She engaged endless conversations about the complexities of a school and a classroom and a small child. She challenged me to understand how a child’s freedom is best expressed within comfortable structure and how an adult can provide the environment in which a child is most relaxed and successful. She constantly worked with my strengths.
Over time since then I have seen how carefully Barbara approaches her career, both in her classes and in her leadership role as the founding teacher of a startup school from its initial phase in a living room to its ongoing stability in a dedicated building. She has met countless difficulties with a relentless positive energy, modeling her own special rule for children: Choose Happiness. Her enthusiasm for theater and dance led to the creation of a remarkable school-wide annual performance that blends pageantry with the wisdom traditions of the world.
It is clear that Barbara’s relationship with children comes from a life of reflection. She questions herself, notices what she does not know, and responds sensitively to what children say and do. As a guide for other teachers, she celebrates accomplishment and values the individual. She has a dynamic energy and determination which are a gift to the children and teachers who are fortunate enough to work with her. I heartily recommend her contributions to any educational organization.
President, Young Spirit Foundation
former teacher, Living Wisdom School
November 23, 2010