Monday, February 18, 2008

The disconnect

(the blank spaces represent where blogpsot refuses to upload pictures)

I look out my window and see snow, slush and fog. It is damp. At 37 degrees F. it would be good paddling if there were a safe launch site. That's what I see. What I think about, on the other hand, is teaching.

It is around the corner, and soon classes will form and symposiums held. There will be folks there looking to learn to paddle, and those of us who teach will once again demonstrate, explain and correct. We will do whole-part-whole and use other techniques to get our points across. If you are anything like me, you have stolen teaching points from the folks who taught you and put together your own little menu and way of teachings. Chances are that over time you have come up with a scenerio that you repeat with each class. You feel comfy with that scenario, and it works. That is what I am particularly thinking about.

Are my classes becoming stale? If I do the same thing over and over too many times will I lose my passion and will that loss be obvious to the students? The answer to both is probably yes, and I should assume it is so. Thinking about it in those terms will wake me up to trying new things when I teach.

It can be as simple as presenting things in a different order just to make me more mindful of what I am doing. It might mean adding some playful things to what is (for me) a generally serious presentation. Sure, safety comes first, but I can get them there in more than one way. Do I need to change other methods, add something, leave something out? At this point, I am not sure, but that's what I am thinking about now so that I will be fresh and ready when classes start.
Paddle safe...

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