Just being there…#TeacherHub Discussions

It’s the first steps in March and things are on the whole going well. So well, it’s almost scary. There has been a lot of work and preparations in the background and it hit me once again that I haven’t posted for a very, very long time. I’ve been writing, yet not sharing. Somehow it seems I’m only just beginning to accept how much of a slow learner I am.

I keep going back to the posts on the blog, either because someone re-shares them or I happen to notice a “spike” in stats (thanks WordPress). And I can’t help but feel overwhelmed – not because of numbers, there are some 70 or so posts here – but because it’s a pretty weird feeling to see what you’ve actually been sharing. There’s always the urge of self-correction, but then again, each post represents a moment in time, how could anyone correct that? Though it is ultimately comforting to accept yourself exactly as you are, there is a constant self-doubt that emerges, somewhat unnoticed. Which is fine. We certainly know very little about the world around us and accepting that is a brilliant first step to becoming better.

Just a couple of days ago, I was talking to a friend – a heavily burdened friend who I hold very close to heart for a number of reasons – and he kept talking about his place in the world, how he sees no reason whatsoever to stand and talk and do. I couldn’t pinpoint what was actually bothering me; his desperation, his lack of confidence, or perhaps my own inadequacy in helping him. He mentioned my persistent, stubborn take on positivity and how he finds that impossible and all I could answer was that I’m positive because I have a choice, as we all do. This choice, however, is not something simple, and I have no recipes to make it happen. We cannot shape the choices of others, not if we care for them, in my view. Everyone deserves to go on their journey, see what they can see, ask when they want to know, be who they wish to be – we can be there for them, that’s all. And this conversation led me to thinking further about the learners trusted to me – do I do enough to give them the space to be themselves? In theory, yes. I don’t feel happy in the know-it-all teacher shoes. But is that enough?

Probably not. The idea that we know and they don’t is something puzzling to me. We all know things, from different perspectives perhaps, but at a given time we know and we won’t easily give up on what we know – why should we? Being open to suggestions and advice is a very different thing, it doesn’t challenge exactly what you know, but rather the way you perceive the things you know. The more these thoughts twirl in my head, the more I think basing lessons on the people I work with matters. Is that a revelation? Well, no. As an educator, what I find most significant is to sit quietly and guide when I can. It has nothing to do with what I see fits best, because most of the times I’m not sure what fits best. The day-to-day interactions depend on who I’m working with –  and I’m blessed with a variety.

That’s more or less what I shared in last week’s TeacherHub and was greeted with silence. Even though at first this silence appeared as an obstacle, as a wall I’d managed to build up between myself and our Hub, it turned out that similar thoughts were running through each of our heads – only we couldn’t put them to words. Looking around the room, I could see those same thoughts on my Hubbers faces and stances, so it felt more efficient, applicable and awesome to put each thought to action. Show each other what our vision or fear looks like.

Maybe we should set our minds on recording those meetings. I mean, it’s nearly impossible for me to portray in writing everything we have experienced. In brief, very – very – brief, here are some of our trails:

  • We need a certain amount of standing, sitting down and moving around during class, listed from less to most. The most responsive and productive seems to be the moving around, the involvement in each instance.
  • Listening is easy. Comprehending is difficult. Adjusting practice and material based on what we observed always involves the danger of becoming too leading. (Reflecting on balance is next month’s task).
  • Music is crucial to all of us. Let’s choose a playlist for class.
  • Learning to keep silent -or unlearning to dominate discussions – is a huge challenge. Let’s just let them talk.
  • Involve them. Yes, how? We all come into lesson with one issue or another, let’s use that. No, we can’t have pre-prepared material for every single topic. Yes, we can modify – it’s our plan, after all, and it might as well go out the window when we notice that one sparkle in their eyes.
  • Our presence means something. Usually something different from what we expect. Often something we fail to notice. Can we practise in this?

Those Hub meetings, I love. Just being there.

Advertisements

5 comments on “Just being there…#TeacherHub Discussions

  1. Zhenya says:

    Hi Christina

    I don’t how I missed this post! Grateful for some time on my hands now to be able to go through my WP reader and catch up.

    I love the topic of this post, and this sentence speaks to me completely: ‘As an educator, what I find most significant is to sit quietly and guide when I can.’ The ‘guide when I can’ part is very important and hard to spot, to notice. The last bullet point mentioned presence as a crucial factor, and I agree.

    I would love to ‘borrow’ this topic for our RP Group, if I can; and if yes, then could I use this post as an introductory part? I think the idea that educators in different countries are thinking along the same lines is powerful and helpful (and inspiring!)

    Happy winter holidays, and let’s make 2018 wonderful!
    Zhenya

    • ChristinaC says:

      Hi Zhenya!

      I can’t even begin to imagine how many posts I must have missed during the year, but my plan is also to use this quiet-ish time to catch up!

      I’m glad you got here and liked this one, and thank you for leaving your comment/idea 😊

      I think so too, the inspiration we draw from the simplest, often, words is priceless. And then there is this connected thought educators have, regardless of where they are based or are coming from; isn’t this a great world to be in?

      You can certainly use the topic in any way you see fit. I’m deeply moved and honoured you consider using the post and can’t wait to read how it went in the RP group!

      Happy holidays to you too!
      To cross-reply (I didn’t reply on your post, did I?) , a reflective, face2face meetup sounds perfect to end the year – even a virtual one would be excellent, if logistics get in the way.

      To a wonderful 2018!
      Christina

      • Zhenya says:

        Hi Christina

        Thank you for the reply and for the permission: when/if I use it as a session, I promise to write a post about it. I also promise to be more serious about keeping promises (a part of my blogging resolution for 2018)

        On another note: a reflective personalized (face2face or online using voice) meet-up is something to keep open for some time this year. I have no plan or structure to offer (yet?) but who knows what great ideas might appear as like-minded colleagues interact!

        Cheers
        Zhenya

  2. […] C.’s post Just Being There was a description of one of the Teacher Hub sessions she prepared and facilitated, and this by […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s