Referring to the series of comments on the post “Go Willingly”, Skip asked me this:
Can I ask you what you meant on the blog when referred to your big learning as “allowing myself to be free when presenting…?” Just wondering. I was thinking it may relate to how I feel in front of my classes..?
Skip we have to take our strait jackets off. We are so used to being judged. We get that thought (that we have to be really good at teaching) going around inside our heads like a hamster in one of those hamster wheels.
But thinking in this way creates tension, and it generates teaching that is awkward, inelegant, and very much the opposite of what Laurie was talking about how slow personalized circling can bring freedom to our teaching.
So for me this applies to presenting. If an audience is one that conveys love, even if it is 70 teachers like in Maine these past two years, I can relax and be myself. Only then can the presentation be a success. So it is in our classrooms.
This is why few “go there” with TPRS. They have to re-invent themselves as “more human”, if you will, and they may not feel safe doing that. No blame.
It is an amazing con game we do on ourselves. Certain people, were they to walk in on a presentation, just like with you in a class, raise my affective filter off the chart and I feel bumbly and not good enough. Fear fills me.
But it is so ridiculous. The person doesn’t want that. They are just wanting to see the presentation or the class. It is just so absurd, what we do to ourselves. When these people walk in, my mind gets instantly covered with little sticky notes about what I should be doing and, when that happens, I am pulled away from my heart center and, since TPRS is a heart centered method, away from good teaching.
Again, no blame. We will get better with this fear. It will take time, but it will get better. Hanging out with each other was so healing for us at NTPRS. Everyone there made me feel worthwhile. It’s ok to suck. I suck. We all suck. Now let’s get over ourselves and set about the hard work that we have to do now.
If our principals have no real clue of what we do, then we can forgive them and look forward to next summer. But for the work ahead this year, now is the time to reflect on how hard it is to bring change in the face of big doses of opposition (usually invisible) each day, and to try to let that fear you mentioned just roll off of us.
Now is the time, as we rest in the summer, to accept those around us who don’t like Kool Aid even though all the research and all the new work in standards and proficiencies are now saying that Kool Aid is the best thing ever for kids to have success in learning a language.
Let’s bask in what we learned and felt last week. Not for one moment will we be alone as we teach during this coming year.
Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could