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working with what comes

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  • Colin Mackenzie
    Hello All Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian Underhill s article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework Homework In the
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 31, 2009
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      Hello All

      Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian Underhill's
      article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework

      Homework
      In the second article I will return to these themes under the general
      heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here are
      some experiments you might like to try:

      1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders you
      from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
      classroom / office / workplace.
      2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of life
      you can feel your improvisation
      3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
      classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to see,
      feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom, visible
      and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
      4. Post your views on the discussion list at
      (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them into
      the second of these articles
      5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See the
      workshop description on the flyer you received with this newsletter.
      Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.

      Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be very happy
      to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article below
      and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the discussion
      list website in case you don't get attachments)

      All the best

      Colin
    • duncanfoord
      1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom helps me to work with what comes. I can t easily listen to people if they are all in a
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 31, 2009
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        1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
        helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people if
        they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
        clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
        (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is a
        tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to speak
        to the whole group.

        2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
        improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line according to
        the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as teachers
        and trainers and human beings we probably could make more choices
        nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working on
        online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
        Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than taking
        them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in face
        to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my responses to
        participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering monkeys,
        but I feel their impact is minimised in this format




        --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello All
        >
        > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
        Underhill's
        > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework
        >
        > Homework
        > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
        general
        > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
        are
        > some experiments you might like to try:
        >
        > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders you
        > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
        > classroom / office / workplace.
        > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of
        life
        > you can feel your improvisation
        > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
        > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
        see,
        > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
        visible
        > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
        > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
        > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
        into
        > the second of these articles
        > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See
        the
        > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
        newsletter.
        > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
        >
        > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be very
        happy
        > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article
        below
        > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
        discussion
        > list website in case you don't get attachments)
        >
        > All the best
        >
        > Colin
        >
        >
        >
        > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
        >
        > As I sit down to write this article the question I am carrying is
        felt,
        > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am about
        to
        > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation
        with
        > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the question? It
        is
        > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what comes,
        to
        > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
        >
        > Missing what comes because I already know….
        > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the strands
        that
        > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
        articles,
        > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and make
        some
        > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
        facilitating.
        > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly tendency to
        > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer. And
        the
        > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the years is
        that
        > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with the
        > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by the past,
        by
        > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what
        is
        > happening under my nose.
        >
        > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs doing in
        > response to this student or that question, the less available
        attention
        > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
        attention
        > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not
        really
        > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments,
        > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
        >
        > A learning teacher
        > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy
        > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
        learning,
        > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I value
        > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
        are
        > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
        something
        > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with the
        others
        > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as contagious,
        and
        > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend or
        teacher
        > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
        >
        > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one who
        > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the quality of
        > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches by
        their
        > learning. Working with what comes requires continually learning my
        way
        > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning what is
        going
        > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my students. I
        do
        > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service of the
        > present moment rather than to hijack it.
        >
        > Spontaneity.
        > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become clichéd as a
        > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected unthinking
        > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new start
        with
        > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence, I will
        now
        > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the
        first
        > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
        >
        > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with your
        best
        > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
        > spontaneous glance shall bring you
        >
        > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw and
        > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and
        > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in
        > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is helpful.
        > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed
        quote
        > saying:
        >
        > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality, embarrassment, or
        > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality, naturalness,
        > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
        >
        > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint
        that
        > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
        are
        > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me of
        a
        > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can operate in
        me
        > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come to is
        Viola
        > Spolin saying:
        >
        > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates an
        > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of
        > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
        undigested
        > theories and techniques of other people's findings. Spontaneity is
        the
        > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and see
        it,
        > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces
        of
        > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
        discovery, of
        > experiencing, of creative expression
        >
        > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of themes
        that
        > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying to say
        > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from the past,
        > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and other
        > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's findings)
        and
        > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just
        > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these words
        leap
        > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
        >
        > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can also be
        a
        > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they encounter a
        > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the joints…..The
        > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move and
        > slows the body considerably.
        >
        > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing lessons and
        > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing oneself
        to
        > be present and preparing an activity?
        >
        > Listening
        > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more important
        to
        > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my felt
        reality
        > …. And the act of forming this into words and the constraints of
        > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets expressed. And
        of
        > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So the
        job of
        > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of high
        > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to the
        words,
        > second to what experience might be behind the words.
        >
        > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed ourselves in
        > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
        laboratories in
        > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in particular
        that
        > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's shoes
        and
        > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
        congruence or
        > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
        thinking
        > another and acting out a third), and to develop unconditional
        positive
        > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards
        the
        > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
        > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want in order
        > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help
        in
        > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the
        internal
        > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still
        > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan what
        to
        > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments about
        the
        > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc). At
        a
        > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
        are
        > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
        musics,
        > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant retuning
        is
        > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
        constantly
        > attending to this retuning … But at another level this metaphor is
        > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my ears but
        my
        > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
        >
        > Improvising jazz
        > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs, bars and
        > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between something
        > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
        something
        > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So you have
        a
        > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment tries to
        > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know where you
        are
        > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark moment
        you
        > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played before
        or
        > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep
        > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this … hot
        licks)
        > and something that you have never or seldom done before, something
        new
        > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and excites
        and
        > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
        band,
        > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
        >
        > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most great
        jazz
        > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A
        supreme
        > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the
        rest
        > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to each
        > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego
        > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising
        music
        > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my teaching,
        > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and
        > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that we
        are
        > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as
        > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes
        of
        > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this in
        the
        > next articles.
        >
        > Seeing the bigger picture
        > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the bigger
        > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we
        suffer
        > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we don't
        see
        > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai
        Lama
        > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot
        of
        > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By
        > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
        picture.
        > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know, your
        death
        > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by your left
        > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left and truly
        > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall away and
        ….."
        >
        > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of the
        earth
        > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves from
        outside
        > ….. (click here to blow your mind
        > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
        >
        > Homework
        > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
        general
        > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
        are
        > some experiments you might like to try:
        >
        > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders you
        > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
        > classroom / office / workplace.
        > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of
        life
        > you can feel your improvisation
        > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
        > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
        see,
        > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
        visible
        > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
        > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
        > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
        into
        > the second of these articles
        > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See
        the
        > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
        newsletter.
        > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
        >
        > adrian.underhill@...
        >
        >
        > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow throughout a
        human
        > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools, classrooms,
        > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership styles
        that
        > function well in complex settings. I am series editor of Macmillan
        > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
        development
        > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate Diploma
        in
        > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and
        Business
        > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and
        organic
        > gardener.
        >
      • duncanfoord
        apologies for the typos especially your name Adrian, trying to be spontaneous ... if ... a ... speak ... taking ... to ... monkeys, ... you ... of ... See ...
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 31, 2009
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          apologies for the typos especially your name Adrian, trying to be
          spontaneous



          --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@...> wrote:
          >
          > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
          > helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people
          if
          > they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
          > clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
          > (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is
          a
          > tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to
          speak
          > to the whole group.
          >
          > 2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
          > improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line according to
          > the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as teachers
          > and trainers and human beings we probably could make more choices
          > nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working on
          > online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
          > Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than
          taking
          > them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in face
          > to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my responses
          to
          > participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering
          monkeys,
          > but I feel their impact is minimised in this format
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hello All
          > >
          > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
          > Underhill's
          > > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework
          > >
          > > Homework
          > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
          > general
          > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
          > are
          > > some experiments you might like to try:
          > >
          > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders
          you
          > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
          > > classroom / office / workplace.
          > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas
          of
          > life
          > > you can feel your improvisation
          > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
          > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
          > see,
          > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
          > visible
          > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
          > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
          > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
          > into
          > > the second of these articles
          > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
          See
          > the
          > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
          > newsletter.
          > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
          > >
          > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be very
          > happy
          > > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article
          > below
          > > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
          > discussion
          > > list website in case you don't get attachments)
          > >
          > > All the best
          > >
          > > Colin
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
          > >
          > > As I sit down to write this article the question I am carrying is
          > felt,
          > > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am about
          > to
          > > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation
          > with
          > > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the question? It
          > is
          > > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what
          comes,
          > to
          > > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
          > >
          > > Missing what comes because I already know….
          > > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the strands
          > that
          > > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
          > articles,
          > > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and make
          > some
          > > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
          > facilitating.
          > > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly tendency to
          > > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer. And
          > the
          > > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the years is
          > that
          > > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with the
          > > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by the
          past,
          > by
          > > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what
          > is
          > > happening under my nose.
          > >
          > > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs doing in
          > > response to this student or that question, the less available
          > attention
          > > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
          > attention
          > > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not
          > really
          > > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments,
          > > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
          > >
          > > A learning teacher
          > > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy
          > > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
          > learning,
          > > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I
          value
          > > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
          > are
          > > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
          > something
          > > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with the
          > others
          > > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as contagious,
          > and
          > > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend or
          > teacher
          > > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
          > >
          > > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one who
          > > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the quality of
          > > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches by
          > their
          > > learning. Working with what comes requires continually learning
          my
          > way
          > > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning what is
          > going
          > > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my students.
          I
          > do
          > > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service of
          the
          > > present moment rather than to hijack it.
          > >
          > > Spontaneity.
          > > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become clichéd as
          a
          > > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected unthinking
          > > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new start
          > with
          > > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence, I
          will
          > now
          > > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the
          > first
          > > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
          > >
          > > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with your
          > best
          > > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
          > > spontaneous glance shall bring you
          > >
          > > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw
          and
          > > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and
          > > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in
          > > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is
          helpful.
          > > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed
          > quote
          > > saying:
          > >
          > > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality, embarrassment,
          or
          > > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality,
          naturalness,
          > > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
          > >
          > > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint
          > that
          > > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
          > are
          > > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me
          of
          > a
          > > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can operate
          in
          > me
          > > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come to is
          > Viola
          > > Spolin saying:
          > >
          > > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates
          an
          > > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of
          > > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
          > undigested
          > > theories and techniques of other people's findings. Spontaneity
          is
          > the
          > > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and
          see
          > it,
          > > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and
          pieces
          > of
          > > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
          > discovery, of
          > > experiencing, of creative expression
          > >
          > > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of
          themes
          > that
          > > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying to
          say
          > > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from the
          past,
          > > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and
          other
          > > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's
          findings)
          > and
          > > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just
          > > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these
          words
          > leap
          > > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
          > >
          > > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can also
          be
          > a
          > > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they encounter
          a
          > > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the
          joints…..The
          > > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move
          and
          > > slows the body considerably.
          > >
          > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing lessons
          and
          > > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing
          oneself
          > to
          > > be present and preparing an activity?
          > >
          > > Listening
          > > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more important
          > to
          > > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my felt
          > reality
          > > …. And the act of forming this into words and the constraints of
          > > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets expressed.
          And
          > of
          > > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So the
          > job of
          > > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of high
          > > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to the
          > words,
          > > second to what experience might be behind the words.
          > >
          > > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed ourselves in
          > > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
          > laboratories in
          > > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in
          particular
          > that
          > > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's shoes
          > and
          > > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
          > congruence or
          > > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
          > thinking
          > > another and acting out a third), and to develop unconditional
          > positive
          > > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards
          > the
          > > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
          > > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want in
          order
          > > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help
          > in
          > > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the
          > internal
          > > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still
          > > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan
          what
          > to
          > > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments
          about
          > the
          > > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc).
          At
          > a
          > > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
          > are
          > > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
          > musics,
          > > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant retuning
          > is
          > > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
          > constantly
          > > attending to this retuning … But at another level this metaphor
          is
          > > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my ears
          but
          > my
          > > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
          > >
          > > Improvising jazz
          > > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs, bars
          and
          > > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between
          something
          > > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
          > something
          > > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So you
          have
          > a
          > > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment tries
          to
          > > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know where you
          > are
          > > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark moment
          > you
          > > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played
          before
          > or
          > > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep
          > > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this … hot
          > licks)
          > > and something that you have never or seldom done before,
          something
          > new
          > > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and
          excites
          > and
          > > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
          > band,
          > > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
          > >
          > > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most great
          > jazz
          > > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A
          > supreme
          > > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the
          > rest
          > > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to
          each
          > > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego
          > > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising
          > music
          > > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my
          teaching,
          > > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and
          > > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that
          we
          > are
          > > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as
          > > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes
          > of
          > > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this
          in
          > the
          > > next articles.
          > >
          > > Seeing the bigger picture
          > > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the bigger
          > > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we
          > suffer
          > > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we
          don't
          > see
          > > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai
          > Lama
          > > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot
          > of
          > > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By
          > > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
          > picture.
          > > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know, your
          > death
          > > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by your
          left
          > > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left and
          truly
          > > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall away
          and
          > ….."
          > >
          > > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of the
          > earth
          > > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves from
          > outside
          > > ….. (click here to blow your mind
          > > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
          > >
          > > Homework
          > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
          > general
          > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
          > are
          > > some experiments you might like to try:
          > >
          > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders
          you
          > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
          > > classroom / office / workplace.
          > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas
          of
          > life
          > > you can feel your improvisation
          > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
          > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
          > see,
          > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
          > visible
          > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
          > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
          > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
          > into
          > > the second of these articles
          > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
          See
          > the
          > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
          > newsletter.
          > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
          > >
          > > adrian.underhill@
          > >
          > >
          > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow throughout a
          > human
          > > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools,
          classrooms,
          > > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership styles
          > that
          > > function well in complex settings. I am series editor
          of Macmillan
          > > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
          > development
          > > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate
          Diploma
          > in
          > > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and
          > Business
          > > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and
          > organic
          > > gardener.
          > >
          >
        • Pauline Johnson
          Dear Colin, I only recently tried to post my views for the first time on the discussion list, as you suggest, but they were completely ignored, so I could only
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 1, 2009
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            Dear Colin,

            I only recently tried to post my views for the first time on the discussion list, as you suggest, but they were completely ignored, so I could only assume that I wasn't good enough for your list. This time I am not really saying anything very erudrite because I realise that what I said last time wasn't good enough. What do Ihave to do to get any kind of response?

            Pauline


            --- On Sat, 31/1/09, Colin Mackenzie <colin@...> wrote:

            > From: Colin Mackenzie <colin@...>
            > Subject: [TDSIG] working with what comes
            > To: "td sig" <TDSIG@yahoogroups.com>
            > Date: Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 1:52 PM
            > Hello All
            >
            > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
            > Underhill's article in the latest newsletter. In it he
            > set us some homework
            >
            > Homework
            > In the second article I will return to these themes under
            > the general heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile
            > dear reader, here are some experiments you might like to
            > try:
            >
            > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
            > hinders you from working with what comes. Explore this in
            > practice in your classroom / office / workplace.
            > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
            > areas of life you can feel your improvisation
            > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
            > individual classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention
            > back to try to see, feel and sense everything that is
            > happening in the classroom, visible and invisible. What
            > different faculties do you need?
            > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
            > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
            > them into the second of these articles
            > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
            > Canterbury. See the workshop description on the flyer you
            > received with this newsletter. Sign up if you possible can
            > and let's meet there.
            >
            > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list,
            > we'd be very happy to hear your opinions on this.
            > I've included the whole article below and am also
            > attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
            > discussion list website in case you don't get
            > attachments)
            >
            > All the best
            >
            > Colin
          • duncanfoord
            Hi Pauline Please don t be discouraged. You will find a lot of posts are not answered. Mine are usually ignored and I am the co-ordinator! The idea of the
            Message 5 of 18 , Feb 2, 2009
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              Hi Pauline

              Please don't be discouraged. You will find a lot of posts are not
              answered. Mine are usually ignored and I am the co-ordinator! The
              idea of the forum is to give people a chance to read and exchange
              views, but there will inevitably be a lot of posts and not time to
              answer them all. Enjoy reading and respond when you feel something
              interests you in particular.

              Duncan


              --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Pauline Johnson <paunjohnson@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Dear Colin,
              >
              > I only recently tried to post my views for the first time on the
              discussion list, as you suggest, but they were completely ignored,
              so I could only assume that I wasn't good enough for your list. This
              time I am not really saying anything very erudrite because I realise
              that what I said last time wasn't good enough. What do Ihave to do
              to get any kind of response?
              >
              > Pauline
              >
              >
              > --- On Sat, 31/1/09, Colin Mackenzie <colin@...> wrote:
              >
              > > From: Colin Mackenzie <colin@...>
              > > Subject: [TDSIG] working with what comes
              > > To: "td sig" <TDSIG@yahoogroups.com>
              > > Date: Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 1:52 PM
              > > Hello All
              > >
              > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
              > > Underhill's article in the latest newsletter. In it he
              > > set us some homework
              > >
              > > Homework
              > > In the second article I will return to these themes under
              > > the general heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile
              > > dear reader, here are some experiments you might like to
              > > try:
              > >
              > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
              > > hinders you from working with what comes. Explore this in
              > > practice in your classroom / office / workplace.
              > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
              > > areas of life you can feel your improvisation
              > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
              > > individual classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention
              > > back to try to see, feel and sense everything that is
              > > happening in the classroom, visible and invisible. What
              > > different faculties do you need?
              > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
              > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
              > > them into the second of these articles
              > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
              > > Canterbury. See the workshop description on the flyer you
              > > received with this newsletter. Sign up if you possible can
              > > and let's meet there.
              > >
              > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list,
              > > we'd be very happy to hear your opinions on this.
              > > I've included the whole article below and am also
              > > attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
              > > discussion list website in case you don't get
              > > attachments)
              > >
              > > All the best
              > >
              > > Colin
              >
            • Juliet du Mont
              Hi Pauline, Don t worry about a response - it s just like a group conversation - people put in a comment when they feel like it. I don t think anyone has ever
              Message 6 of 18 , Feb 3, 2009
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                Hi Pauline,
                 
                Don't worry about a response - it's just like a group conversation - people put in a comment when they feel like it.  I don't think anyone has ever responded to me ... I'm always harping on about using movement in teaching English and people just 'cough politely and look the other way'!
                 
                Juliet




                To: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
                From: paunjohnson@...
                Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 21:25:28 +0000
                Subject: Re: [TDSIG] working with what comes


                Dear Colin,

                I only recently tried to post my views for the first time on the discussion list, as you suggest, but they were completely ignored, so I could only assume that I wasn't good enough for your list. This time I am not really saying anything very erudrite because I realise that what I said last time wasn't good enough. What do Ihave to do to get any kind of response?

                Pauline

                --- On Sat, 31/1/09, Colin Mackenzie <colin@nantes. fr> wrote:

                > From: Colin Mackenzie <colin@nantes. fr>
                > Subject: [TDSIG] working with what comes
                > To: "td sig" <TDSIG@yahoogroups. com>
                > Date: Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 1:52 PM
                > Hello All
                >
                > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                > Underhill's article in the latest newsletter. In it he
                > set us some homework
                >
                > Homework
                > In the second article I will return to these themes under
                > the general heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile
                > dear reader, here are some experiments you might like to
                > try:
                >
                > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                > hinders you from working with what comes. Explore this in
                > practice in your classroom / office / workplace.
                > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                > areas of life you can feel your improvisation
                > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                > individual classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention
                > back to try to see, feel and sense everything that is
                > happening in the classroom, visible and invisible. What
                > different faculties do you need?
                > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                > (TDSIG-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com). And I will try to weave
                > them into the second of these articles
                > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
                > Canterbury. See the workshop description on the flyer you
                > received with this newsletter. Sign up if you possible can
                > and let's meet there.
                >
                > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list,
                > we'd be very happy to hear your opinions on this.
                > I've included the whole article below and am also
                > attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                > discussion list website in case you don't get
                > attachments)
                >
                > All the best
                >
                > Colin




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              • Juliet du Mont
                Hello there, I do agree with Duncan about there being an improvisation continuum. It is a feature of the multi-dimensional balance which is always operational
                Message 7 of 18 , Feb 3, 2009
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                  Hello there,
                   
                  I do agree with Duncan about there being an improvisation continuum.  It is a feature of the multi-dimensional balance which is always operational within a classroom.
                   
                  Something that helps me to precipitate working with what comes is to begin a class with a short physical warm-up.  It helps leave the 'baggage' outside the classroom, bonds and focuses the class.  It literally and metaphorically gets the blood going, breaking down barriers, leaving an environment where working with what comes can operate from both Ss' and Ts' angles.
                   
                  Something else that can help is being under pressure of time - of course this situation can be very destructive but if treated sensitively can give rise to a dynamic and creative environment, ripe for working wth what comes.  Once again, it breaks down barriers, frees exchange.
                   
                  What militates against working with what comes?  Being in a teaching environment where for some reason these kind of options cannot function!
                   
                  Juliet
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   


                  To: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
                  From: duncan@...
                  Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 14:28:55 +0000
                  Subject: [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes


                  1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
                  helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people if
                  they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
                  clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
                  (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is a
                  tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to speak
                  to the whole group.

                  2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
                  improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line according to
                  the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as teachers
                  and trainers and human beings we probably could make more choices
                  nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working on
                  online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
                  Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than taking
                  them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in face
                  to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my responses to
                  participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering monkeys,
                  but I feel their impact is minimised in this format

                  --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups. com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello All
                  >
                  > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                  Underhill's
                  > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework
                  >
                  > Homework
                  > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                  general
                  > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
                  are
                  > some experiments you might like to try:
                  >
                  > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders you
                  > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                  > classroom / office / workplace.
                  > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of
                  life
                  > you can feel your improvisation
                  > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
                  > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
                  see,
                  > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                  visible
                  > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                  > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                  > (TDSIG-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com). And I will try to weave them
                  into
                  > the second of these articles
                  > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See
                  the
                  > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                  newsletter.
                  > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                  >
                  > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be very
                  happy
                  > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article
                  below
                  > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                  discussion
                  > list website in case you don't get attachments)
                  >
                  > All the best
                  >
                  > Colin
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
                  >
                  > As I sit down to write this article the question I am carrying is
                  felt,
                  > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am about
                  to
                  > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation
                  with
                  > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the question? It
                  is
                  > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what comes,
                  to
                  > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
                  >
                  > Missing what comes because I already know….
                  > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the strands
                  that
                  > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
                  articles,
                  > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and make
                  some
                  > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
                  facilitating.
                  > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly tendency to
                  > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer. And
                  the
                  > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the years is
                  that
                  > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with the
                  > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by the past,
                  by
                  > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what
                  is
                  > happening under my nose.
                  >
                  > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs doing in
                  > response to this student or that question, the less available
                  attention
                  > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
                  attention
                  > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not
                  really
                  > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments,
                  > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
                  >
                  > A learning teacher
                  > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy
                  > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
                  learning,
                  > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I value
                  > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
                  are
                  > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
                  something
                  > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with the
                  others
                  > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as contagious,
                  and
                  > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend or
                  teacher
                  > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
                  >
                  > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one who
                  > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the quality of
                  > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches by
                  their
                  > learning. Working with what comes requires continually learning my
                  way
                  > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning what is
                  going
                  > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my students. I
                  do
                  > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service of the
                  > present moment rather than to hijack it.
                  >
                  > Spontaneity.
                  > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become clichéd as a
                  > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected unthinking
                  > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new start
                  with
                  > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence, I will
                  now
                  > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the
                  first
                  > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
                  >
                  > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with your
                  best
                  > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
                  > spontaneous glance shall bring you
                  >
                  > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw and
                  > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and
                  > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in
                  > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is helpful.
                  > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed
                  quote
                  > saying:
                  >
                  > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality, embarrassment, or
                  > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality, naturalness,
                  > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
                  >
                  > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint
                  that
                  > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
                  are
                  > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me of
                  a
                  > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can operate in
                  me
                  > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come to is
                  Viola
                  > Spolin saying:
                  >
                  > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates an
                  > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of
                  > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
                  undigested
                  > theories and techniques of other people's findings. Spontaneity is
                  the
                  > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and see
                  it,
                  > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces
                  of
                  > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
                  discovery, of
                  > experiencing, of creative expression
                  >
                  > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of themes
                  that
                  > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying to say
                  > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from the past,
                  > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and other
                  > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's findings)
                  and
                  > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just
                  > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these words
                  leap
                  > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
                  >
                  > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can also be
                  a
                  > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they encounter a
                  > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the joints…..The
                  > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move and
                  > slows the body considerably.
                  >
                  > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing lessons and
                  > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing oneself
                  to
                  > be present and preparing an activity?
                  >
                  > Listening
                  > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more important
                  to
                  > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my felt
                  reality
                  > …. And the act of forming this into words and the constraints of
                  > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets expressed. And
                  of
                  > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So the
                  job of
                  > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of high
                  > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to the
                  words,
                  > second to what experience might be behind the words.
                  >
                  > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed ourselves in
                  > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
                  laboratories in
                  > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in particular
                  that
                  > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's shoes
                  and
                  > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
                  congruence or
                  > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
                  thinking
                  > another and acting out a third), and to develop unconditional
                  positive
                  > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards
                  the
                  > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
                  > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want in order
                  > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help
                  in
                  > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the
                  internal
                  > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still
                  > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan what
                  to
                  > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments about
                  the
                  > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc). At
                  a
                  > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
                  are
                  > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
                  musics,
                  > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant retuning
                  is
                  > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
                  constantly
                  > attending to this retuning … But at another level this metaphor is
                  > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my ears but
                  my
                  > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
                  >
                  > Improvising jazz
                  > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs, bars and
                  > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between something
                  > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
                  something
                  > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So you have
                  a
                  > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment tries to
                  > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know where you
                  are
                  > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark moment
                  you
                  > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played before
                  or
                  > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep
                  > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this … hot
                  licks)
                  > and something that you have never or seldom done before, something
                  new
                  > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and excites
                  and
                  > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
                  band,
                  > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
                  >
                  > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most great
                  jazz
                  > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A
                  supreme
                  > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the
                  rest
                  > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to each
                  > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego
                  > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising
                  music
                  > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my teaching,
                  > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and
                  > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that we
                  are
                  > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as
                  > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes
                  of
                  > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this in
                  the
                  > next articles.
                  >
                  > Seeing the bigger picture
                  > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the bigger
                  > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we
                  suffer
                  > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we don't
                  see
                  > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai
                  Lama
                  > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot
                  of
                  > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By
                  > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
                  picture.
                  > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know, your
                  death
                  > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by your left
                  > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left and truly
                  > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall away and
                  ….."
                  >
                  > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of the
                  earth
                  > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves from
                  outside
                  > ….. (click here to blow your mind
                  > http://earth. jsc.nasa. gov/sseop/ efs/)
                  >
                  > Homework
                  > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                  general
                  > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
                  are
                  > some experiments you might like to try:
                  >
                  > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders you
                  > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                  > classroom / office / workplace.
                  > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of
                  life
                  > you can feel your improvisation
                  > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
                  > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
                  see,
                  > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                  visible
                  > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                  > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                  > (TDSIG-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com). And I will try to weave them
                  into
                  > the second of these articles
                  > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See
                  the
                  > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                  newsletter.
                  > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                  >
                  > adrian.underhill@ ...
                  >
                  >
                  > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow throughout a
                  human
                  > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools, classrooms,
                  > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership styles
                  that
                  > function well in complex settings. I am series editor of Macmillan
                  > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
                  development
                  > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate Diploma
                  in
                  > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and
                  Business
                  > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and
                  organic
                  > gardener.
                  >




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                • Bill Templer
                  Adrian quotes Viola Spolin on spontaneity and Spolin’s brilliant work on theater games and improvisational theater is pretty relevant to transforming styles
                  Message 8 of 18 , Feb 4, 2009
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                    Adrian quotes Viola Spolin on spontaneity and Spolin’s brilliant work on theater games and improvisational theater is pretty relevant to transforming styles of teaching EFL, and how colleagues interact. Warm-ups that involve physicalizing stuff, that Juliet M. mentions, shedding some body baggage, are part of that, Spolin has many applicable ideas. Her book IMPROVISATIONS FOR THE THEATER, 3rd ed. 1999 (posthumous ed.) maybe well worth getting. Adrian ’s quote is from p. 4 there. There’s a Spolin website  http://www.spolin.com  

                     

                    I think these kinds of activities, like ‘exercises for refining awareness,’ should also be built much more into teacher training workshops, really everywhere. Part of it is galvanizing new energies to create a space apart, beginning to overcome and break free from what Viola calls “ghostly voices,” emotional dependency on behavioral rules woven with subtlety into our own voices, psyches, body movements – by parents, teachers, spouses, bosses, colleagues, institutions, the System’s shebang. Those voices are part of the din that militates against being in the present and working with what happens.

                     

                    Those “ghostly voices” part of what Pauline is facing at Universitaet Kiel, in grammar teaching and much more. In response to Pauline’s comments 2 months ago, getting colleagues to actually sit together and discuss exam options and hammer it out is one way to alter what is considered the proper routine at Uni Kiel. It means extra time, but that’s what the ‘connectivity’ Adrian underscores can cost. Ultimately I guess, from Kiel to Konstanz , German educators should be thinking more about why there's still so much stress in Deutschland on stressful testing of form, grammar, in isolation. --Bill

                  • chvenables
                    Hi Juliet, I love your idea of doing a physical warm-up at the start of the class. I do this every class with my young learners and don t know why I don t
                    Message 9 of 18 , Feb 12, 2009
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                      Hi Juliet,

                      I love your idea of doing a physical warm-up at the start of the
                      class. I do this every class with my young learners and don't know
                      why I don't with adults.
                      It going to be my experiment for this week!

                      Claire Venables

                      --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Juliet du Mont <julietdumont@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Hello there,
                      >
                      > I do agree with Duncan about there being an improvisation
                      continuum. It is a feature of the multi-dimensional balance which is
                      always operational within a classroom.
                      >
                      > Something that helps me to precipitate working with what comes is
                      to begin a class with a short physical warm-up. It helps leave
                      the 'baggage' outside the classroom, bonds and focuses the class. It
                      literally and metaphorically gets the blood going, breaking down
                      barriers, leaving an environment where working with what comes can
                      operate from both Ss' and Ts' angles.
                      >
                      > Something else that can help is being under pressure of time - of
                      course this situation can be very destructive but if treated
                      sensitively can give rise to a dynamic and creative environment, ripe
                      for working wth what comes. Once again, it breaks down barriers,
                      frees exchange.
                      >
                      > What militates against working with what comes? Being in a
                      teaching environment where for some reason these kind of options
                      cannot function!
                      >
                      > Juliet
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                      > To: TDSIG@...: duncan@...: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 14:28:55 +0000Subject:
                      [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
                      helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people if
                      they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
                      clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
                      (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is a
                      tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to speak
                      to the whole group.2. There could be a continuum from zero
                      improvisation to 100% improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on
                      this line according to the circumstances. I agree with Adians
                      implication that as teachers and trainers and human beings we
                      probably could make more choices nearer the improvisation end. One
                      thing I have noticed working on online courses is that the format
                      allows me to improvise more. Working with what particpants produce on
                      the forum rather than taking them through my "story" of a subject,
                      which tends to happen in face to face training seems to be what
                      happens. Of course my responses to participants output are doubtless
                      crowded with my chattering monkeys, but I feel their impact is
                      minimised in this format--- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie
                      <colin@> wrote:>> Hello All> > Those of you who are Td SIG members
                      will have seen Adrian Underhill's > article in the latest newsletter.
                      In it he set us some homework> > Homework> In the second article I
                      will return to these themes under the general > heading of work with
                      what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here are > some experiments
                      you might like to try:> > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps
                      you and what hinders you > from working with what comes. Explore this
                      in practice in your > classroom / office / workplace.> 2. Think of
                      yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of life > you can
                      feel your improvisation> 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your
                      attention in to individual > classroom happenings, and to zoom your
                      attention back to try to see, > feel and sense everything that is
                      happening in the classroom, visible > and invisible. What different
                      faculties do you need?> 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                      > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
                      into > the second of these articles> 5. Read about the Open Space
                      Technology session in Canterbury. See the > workshop description on
                      the flyer you received with this newsletter. > Sign up if you
                      possible can and let's meet there.> > Number 4 says post our views on
                      the discussion list, we'd be very happy > to hear your opinions on
                      this. I've included the whole article below > and am also attaching
                      it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the discussion > list website in
                      case you don't get attachments)> > All the best> > Colin> > > > Work
                      with what comes - Adrian Underhill> > As I sit down to write this
                      article the question I am carrying is felt, > but indistinct, and I
                      hope that this writing adventure I am about to > begin, which will
                      include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation with > you, will
                      clarify and explore this question. And the question? It is > around
                      the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what comes, to > be
                      guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.> > Missing what
                      comes because I already know….> In this first article I intend to
                      indicate a few of the strands that > fascinate me in this connection,
                      and in the subsequent two articles, > perhaps with your help, to pull
                      these strands together and make some > concrete proposals for my /
                      our teaching, training and facilitating. > So, the first strand is
                      the challenge of my teacherly tendency to > already know what to do,
                      my tendency to have a ready answer. And the > problem with this as I
                      notice ever more acutely over the years is that > by being with my
                      expertise and cleverness, rather than with the > situation as it is,
                      I am guided not by the present but by the past, by > previous
                      experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what is >
                      happening under my nose.> > I notice too that the more certain I am
                      about what needs doing in > response to this student or that
                      question, the less available attention > I have to listen to the
                      current situation as it emerges. My attention > gets kind of
                      mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not really > see the
                      situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments, > usually
                      the same ones I have jumped to in the past.> > A learning teacher> In
                      case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy >
                      teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of learning,
                      > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I value
                      > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
                      are > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
                      something > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection
                      with the others > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning
                      as contagious, and > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am
                      with a friend or teacher > or boss who is learning as we go, it
                      evokes the same in me.> > This is why I value the concept of the
                      learning teacher, one who > actually demonstrates moment by moment in
                      a lesson the quality of > learning they hope for from their students.
                      One who teaches by their > learning. Working with what comes requires
                      continually learning my way > into each present moment as it cascades
                      in. Just learning what is going > on puts me on the same side of the
                      learning fence as my students. I do > need my past experience, but I
                      need it to be in the service of the > present moment rather than to
                      hijack it.> > Spontaneity.> I hesitate to use this word as for some
                      it has become clichéd as a > manifestation of immature, ill
                      considered disconnected unthinking > action (which I can do quite
                      well myself). So to make a new start with > this word, and as I sit
                      here at this point in this sentence, I will now > google spontaneity
                      ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the first > URL is Ralph
                      Waldo Emerson saying> > Our spontaneous action is always the best.
                      You cannot, with your best > deliberation and heed, come so close to
                      any question as your > spontaneous glance shall bring you> > Hmm,
                      that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw and >
                      immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and >
                      categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in >
                      opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is helpful. >
                      Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed quote
                      > saying:> > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality,
                      embarrassment, or > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness,
                      informality, naturalness, > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.> >
                      Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint that
                      > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
                      are > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me
                      of a > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can
                      operate in me > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I
                      come to is Viola > Spolin saying:> > Through spontaneity we are re-
                      formed into ourselves. It creates an > explosion that for the moment
                      frees us from handed-down frames of > reference, memory choked with
                      old facts and information and undigested > theories and techniques of
                      other people's findings. Spontaneity is the > moment of personal
                      freedom when we are faced with reality, and see it, > explore it and
                      act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces of > ourselves
                      function as an organic whole. It is the time of discovery, of >
                      experiencing, of creative expression> > This is really exciting! She
                      puts her finger on a number of themes that > really speak to me and
                      that resonate with what I was trying to say > earlier. So there is
                      something here about liberation from the past, > both mine (memory
                      choked with old facts and information) and other > people's (handed-
                      down frames of reference, other people's findings) and > something
                      about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just > clicked a
                      link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these words leap > to my
                      attention so I must just drop this in:> > Planning may be necessary
                      in many circumstances but it can also be a > hindrance. When a person
                      prepares for an activity they encounter a > minute tensing of the
                      muscles and a tightening of the joints…..The > subtle act of
                      preparation actually reduces your ability to move and > slows the
                      body considerably.> > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time
                      preparing lessons and > training sessions. Is there a difference
                      between preparing oneself to > be present and preparing an activity?>
                      > Listening> When I speak, especially when in settings that are more
                      important to > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for
                      my felt reality > …. And the act of forming this into words and the
                      constraints of > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets
                      expressed. And of > that, only some of what I articulate actually
                      gets heard. So the job of > a listener who wishes to offer to the
                      speaker the service of high > quality listening becomes one of
                      listening first perhaps to the words, > second to what experience
                      might be behind the words.> > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG
                      we immersed ourselves in > encounter groups of the type proposed by
                      Carl Rogers as laboratories in > which to learn to listen, there were
                      three qualities in particular that > we were invited to explore:
                      empathy (to stand in another's shoes and > get closer to what it was
                      like to be in their situation), congruence or > being real (to be all-
                      of-a-piece, not saying one thing while thinking > another and acting
                      out a third), and to develop unconditional positive > regard (ie a
                      sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards the > humanness
                      of the other, beyond any position of agreement and > disagreement,
                      and not dependent on them doing what we want in order > that they
                      have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help in > enabling
                      me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the internal > noise
                      of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still > nodding
                      my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan what to > say
                      next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments about the >
                      speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc). At a
                      > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
                      are > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
                      musics, > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant
                      retuning is > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice
                      of constantly > attending to this retuning … But at another level
                      this metaphor is > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not
                      just my ears but my > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or
                      receiver….> > Improvising jazz> I am an improvising musician. Mostly
                      I play jazz in pubs, bars and > clubs. When playing jazz one looks
                      for a balance between something > given, usually the basic melody and
                      the chord sequence, and something > fresh which one aspires to bring
                      to the improvisation. So you have a > kind of scaffolding within
                      which the soloist of the moment tries to > tell a new story. When you
                      start a solo you do not know where you are > going. The story emerges
                      by telling it. And in this stark moment you > find yourself right on
                      the edge between what you have played before or > what you typically
                      play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep > trying to insert
                      themselves (there is even a name for this … hot licks) > and
                      something that you have never or seldom done before, something new >
                      created out of the moment, AND something that interests and excites
                      and > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
                      band, > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.> > There are many
                      skills of musicianship of course, but most great jazz > players will
                      tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A supreme > solo that
                      is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the rest > of the
                      band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to each > other
                      and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego >
                      destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising music
                      > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my teaching,
                      > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and >
                      visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that we
                      are > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as >
                      improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes of
                      > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this in
                      the > next articles.> > Seeing the bigger picture> Well, this is very
                      hard to do since we are a part of the bigger > picture, and how can a
                      part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we suffer > from system
                      blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we don't see > how our
                      actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai Lama >
                      proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot of
                      > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By >
                      permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
                      picture. > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You
                      know, your death > is your biggest friend, and what's more this
                      friend is by your left > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn
                      to your left and truly > speak to your friend, all the crap in your
                      life will fall away and ….."> > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be
                      the NASA pictures of the earth > from space in the sixties, the first
                      time we saw ourselves from outside > ….. (click here to blow your
                      mind > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)> > Homework> In the
                      second article I will return to these themes under the general >
                      heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here are
                      > some experiments you might like to try:> > 1. Notice in very
                      specific ways what helps you and what hinders you > from working with
                      what comes. Explore this in practice in your > classroom / office /
                      workplace.> 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                      areas of life > you can feel your improvisation> 3. Develop your
                      capacity to zoom your attention in to individual > classroom
                      happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to see, > feel and
                      sense everything that is happening in the classroom, visible > and
                      invisible. What different faculties do you need?> 4. Post your views
                      on the discussion list at > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I
                      will try to weave them into > the second of these articles> 5. Read
                      about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See the >
                      workshop description on the flyer you received with this newsletter.
                      > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.> >
                      adrian.underhill@> > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to
                      flow throughout a human > system by developing connectivity within
                      (eg) schools, classrooms, > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by
                      developing leadership styles that > function well in complex
                      settings. I am series editor of Macmillan > Books for Teachers and
                      member of the advisory board for the development > of the Macmillan
                      English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate Diploma in > Group
                      Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and Business >
                      Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and organic
                      > gardener.>
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > _________________________________________________________________
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                    • chvenables
                      Thanks for posting the article from Adrian. It was a good read. This week, I m going to try the homework tasks that Colin suggested and post again. Duncan,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Feb 12, 2009
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                        Thanks for posting the article from Adrian. It was a good read.
                        This week, I'm going to try the 'homework' tasks that Colin suggested
                        and post again.

                        Duncan, I was really surprised to see that you find an online format
                        allows you to improvise more. I've just started teacher training on
                        an online course and I'm finding the opposite to be true! In face-to-
                        face courses I feel like I'm much more honest, spontaneous and
                        fresh. When I read the posts in the forums, it seems like everyone
                        is thinking too much about what they write. Everyone wants to say
                        the right thing.
                        How do you break down barriers between people online and create an
                        atmosphere where people feel free to be spontaneous with the things
                        they contribute?

                        Claire Venables

                        --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
                        > helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people
                        if
                        > they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
                        > clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
                        > (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is
                        a
                        > tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to
                        speak
                        > to the whole group.
                        >
                        > 2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
                        > improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line according to
                        > the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as teachers
                        > and trainers and human beings we probably could make more choices
                        > nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working on
                        > online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
                        > Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than
                        taking
                        > them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in face
                        > to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my responses
                        to
                        > participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering
                        monkeys,
                        > but I feel their impact is minimised in this format
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hello All
                        > >
                        > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                        > Underhill's
                        > > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework
                        > >
                        > > Homework
                        > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                        > general
                        > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
                        > are
                        > > some experiments you might like to try:
                        > >
                        > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders
                        you
                        > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                        > > classroom / office / workplace.
                        > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas
                        of
                        > life
                        > > you can feel your improvisation
                        > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
                        > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
                        > see,
                        > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                        > visible
                        > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                        > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                        > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
                        > into
                        > > the second of these articles
                        > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
                        See
                        > the
                        > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                        > newsletter.
                        > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                        > >
                        > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be very
                        > happy
                        > > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article
                        > below
                        > > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                        > discussion
                        > > list website in case you don't get attachments)
                        > >
                        > > All the best
                        > >
                        > > Colin
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
                        > >
                        > > As I sit down to write this article the question I am carrying is
                        > felt,
                        > > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am about
                        > to
                        > > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation
                        > with
                        > > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the question? It
                        > is
                        > > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what
                        comes,
                        > to
                        > > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
                        > >
                        > > Missing what comes because I already know….
                        > > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the strands
                        > that
                        > > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
                        > articles,
                        > > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and make
                        > some
                        > > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
                        > facilitating.
                        > > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly tendency to
                        > > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer. And
                        > the
                        > > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the years is
                        > that
                        > > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with the
                        > > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by the
                        past,
                        > by
                        > > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what
                        > is
                        > > happening under my nose.
                        > >
                        > > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs doing in
                        > > response to this student or that question, the less available
                        > attention
                        > > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
                        > attention
                        > > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not
                        > really
                        > > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments,
                        > > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
                        > >
                        > > A learning teacher
                        > > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy
                        > > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
                        > learning,
                        > > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I
                        value
                        > > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
                        > are
                        > > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
                        > something
                        > > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with the
                        > others
                        > > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as contagious,
                        > and
                        > > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend or
                        > teacher
                        > > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
                        > >
                        > > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one who
                        > > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the quality of
                        > > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches by
                        > their
                        > > learning. Working with what comes requires continually learning
                        my
                        > way
                        > > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning what is
                        > going
                        > > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my students.
                        I
                        > do
                        > > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service of
                        the
                        > > present moment rather than to hijack it.
                        > >
                        > > Spontaneity.
                        > > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become clichéd as
                        a
                        > > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected unthinking
                        > > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new start
                        > with
                        > > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence, I
                        will
                        > now
                        > > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the
                        > first
                        > > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
                        > >
                        > > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with your
                        > best
                        > > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
                        > > spontaneous glance shall bring you
                        > >
                        > > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw
                        and
                        > > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and
                        > > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in
                        > > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is
                        helpful.
                        > > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed
                        > quote
                        > > saying:
                        > >
                        > > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality, embarrassment,
                        or
                        > > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality,
                        naturalness,
                        > > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
                        > >
                        > > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint
                        > that
                        > > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
                        > are
                        > > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me
                        of
                        > a
                        > > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can operate
                        in
                        > me
                        > > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come to is
                        > Viola
                        > > Spolin saying:
                        > >
                        > > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates
                        an
                        > > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of
                        > > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
                        > undigested
                        > > theories and techniques of other people's findings. Spontaneity
                        is
                        > the
                        > > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and
                        see
                        > it,
                        > > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and
                        pieces
                        > of
                        > > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
                        > discovery, of
                        > > experiencing, of creative expression
                        > >
                        > > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of
                        themes
                        > that
                        > > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying to
                        say
                        > > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from the
                        past,
                        > > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and
                        other
                        > > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's
                        findings)
                        > and
                        > > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just
                        > > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these
                        words
                        > leap
                        > > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
                        > >
                        > > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can also
                        be
                        > a
                        > > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they encounter
                        a
                        > > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the
                        joints…..The
                        > > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move
                        and
                        > > slows the body considerably.
                        > >
                        > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing lessons
                        and
                        > > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing
                        oneself
                        > to
                        > > be present and preparing an activity?
                        > >
                        > > Listening
                        > > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more important
                        > to
                        > > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my felt
                        > reality
                        > > …. And the act of forming this into words and the constraints of
                        > > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets expressed.
                        And
                        > of
                        > > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So the
                        > job of
                        > > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of high
                        > > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to the
                        > words,
                        > > second to what experience might be behind the words.
                        > >
                        > > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed ourselves in
                        > > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
                        > laboratories in
                        > > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in
                        particular
                        > that
                        > > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's shoes
                        > and
                        > > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
                        > congruence or
                        > > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
                        > thinking
                        > > another and acting out a third), and to develop unconditional
                        > positive
                        > > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards
                        > the
                        > > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
                        > > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want in
                        order
                        > > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help
                        > in
                        > > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the
                        > internal
                        > > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still
                        > > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan
                        what
                        > to
                        > > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments
                        about
                        > the
                        > > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc).
                        At
                        > a
                        > > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
                        > are
                        > > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
                        > musics,
                        > > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant retuning
                        > is
                        > > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
                        > constantly
                        > > attending to this retuning … But at another level this metaphor
                        is
                        > > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my ears
                        but
                        > my
                        > > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
                        > >
                        > > Improvising jazz
                        > > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs, bars
                        and
                        > > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between
                        something
                        > > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
                        > something
                        > > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So you
                        have
                        > a
                        > > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment tries
                        to
                        > > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know where you
                        > are
                        > > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark moment
                        > you
                        > > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played
                        before
                        > or
                        > > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep
                        > > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this … hot
                        > licks)
                        > > and something that you have never or seldom done before,
                        something
                        > new
                        > > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and
                        excites
                        > and
                        > > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
                        > band,
                        > > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
                        > >
                        > > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most great
                        > jazz
                        > > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A
                        > supreme
                        > > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the
                        > rest
                        > > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to
                        each
                        > > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego
                        > > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising
                        > music
                        > > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my
                        teaching,
                        > > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and
                        > > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that
                        we
                        > are
                        > > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as
                        > > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes
                        > of
                        > > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this
                        in
                        > the
                        > > next articles.
                        > >
                        > > Seeing the bigger picture
                        > > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the bigger
                        > > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we
                        > suffer
                        > > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we
                        don't
                        > see
                        > > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai
                        > Lama
                        > > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot
                        > of
                        > > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By
                        > > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
                        > picture.
                        > > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know, your
                        > death
                        > > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by your
                        left
                        > > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left and
                        truly
                        > > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall away
                        and
                        > ….."
                        > >
                        > > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of the
                        > earth
                        > > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves from
                        > outside
                        > > ….. (click here to blow your mind
                        > > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
                        > >
                        > > Homework
                        > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                        > general
                        > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here
                        > are
                        > > some experiments you might like to try:
                        > >
                        > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what hinders
                        you
                        > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                        > > classroom / office / workplace.
                        > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas
                        of
                        > life
                        > > you can feel your improvisation
                        > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to individual
                        > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to
                        > see,
                        > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                        > visible
                        > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                        > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                        > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave them
                        > into
                        > > the second of these articles
                        > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
                        See
                        > the
                        > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                        > newsletter.
                        > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                        > >
                        > > adrian.underhill@
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow throughout a
                        > human
                        > > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools,
                        classrooms,
                        > > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership styles
                        > that
                        > > function well in complex settings. I am series editor
                        of Macmillan
                        > > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
                        > development
                        > > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate
                        Diploma
                        > in
                        > > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and
                        > Business
                        > > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and
                        > organic
                        > > gardener.
                        > >
                        >
                      • duncanfoord
                        Hi Claire I suppose it depends on your audience. On a closed course people feel they know each other and can open up more than on a forum like this. Its
                        Message 11 of 18 , Feb 12, 2009
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                          Hi Claire

                          I suppose it depends on your audience. On a closed course people
                          feel they know each other and can open up more than on a forum like
                          this. Its interesting that you noticed that sense of formality here.
                          I was thinking from a teachers point of view about me being able to
                          listen better when I'm reading if that makes sense. There is a
                          pressure in real time classrooms to respond to interventions, social
                          convention seems to demand it.Adrian's idea I tunderstand is that by
                          listening more attentively we can respond more sopontaneously
                          (authenticly even)

                          I notice there is a course at Pilgrims in April on finding the clown
                          inside you which looks like it could hit a similar spot. I'm fairly
                          convinced that students are interested in how teachers and fellow
                          students are as much as what they say, so it makes sense as
                          developing teachers for us to explore that



                          --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "chvenables" <chvenables@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Thanks for posting the article from Adrian. It was a good read.
                          > This week, I'm going to try the 'homework' tasks that Colin
                          suggested
                          > and post again.
                          >
                          > Duncan, I was really surprised to see that you find an online
                          format
                          > allows you to improvise more. I've just started teacher training
                          on
                          > an online course and I'm finding the opposite to be true! In face-
                          to-
                          > face courses I feel like I'm much more honest, spontaneous and
                          > fresh. When I read the posts in the forums, it seems like
                          everyone
                          > is thinking too much about what they write. Everyone wants to say
                          > the right thing.
                          > How do you break down barriers between people online and create an
                          > atmosphere where people feel free to be spontaneous with the
                          things
                          > they contribute?
                          >
                          > Claire Venables
                          >
                          > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
                          > > helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to
                          people
                          > if
                          > > they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are
                          in
                          > > clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more
                          natural
                          > > (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There
                          is
                          > a
                          > > tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to
                          > speak
                          > > to the whole group.
                          > >
                          > > 2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
                          > > improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line according
                          to
                          > > the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as
                          teachers
                          > > and trainers and human beings we probably could make more
                          choices
                          > > nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working
                          on
                          > > online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
                          > > Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than
                          > taking
                          > > them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in
                          face
                          > > to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my
                          responses
                          > to
                          > > participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering
                          > monkeys,
                          > > but I feel their impact is minimised in this format
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Hello All
                          > > >
                          > > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                          > > Underhill's
                          > > > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some homework
                          > > >
                          > > > Homework
                          > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                          > > general
                          > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                          here
                          > > are
                          > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                          > > >
                          > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                          hinders
                          > you
                          > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                          > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                          > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                          areas
                          > of
                          > > life
                          > > > you can feel your improvisation
                          > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                          individual
                          > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                          to
                          > > see,
                          > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                          > > visible
                          > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                          > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                          > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                          them
                          > > into
                          > > > the second of these articles
                          > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
                          > See
                          > > the
                          > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                          > > newsletter.
                          > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                          > > >
                          > > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be
                          very
                          > > happy
                          > > > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole article
                          > > below
                          > > > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                          > > discussion
                          > > > list website in case you don't get attachments)
                          > > >
                          > > > All the best
                          > > >
                          > > > Colin
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
                          > > >
                          > > > As I sit down to write this article the question I am carrying
                          is
                          > > felt,
                          > > > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am
                          about
                          > > to
                          > > > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary
                          conversation
                          > > with
                          > > > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the question?
                          It
                          > > is
                          > > > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what
                          > comes,
                          > > to
                          > > > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
                          > > >
                          > > > Missing what comes because I already know….
                          > > > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the
                          strands
                          > > that
                          > > > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
                          > > articles,
                          > > > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and
                          make
                          > > some
                          > > > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
                          > > facilitating.
                          > > > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly tendency
                          to
                          > > > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer.
                          And
                          > > the
                          > > > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the years
                          is
                          > > that
                          > > > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with
                          the
                          > > > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by the
                          > past,
                          > > by
                          > > > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by
                          what
                          > > is
                          > > > happening under my nose.
                          > > >
                          > > > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs doing
                          in
                          > > > response to this student or that question, the less available
                          > > attention
                          > > > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
                          > > attention
                          > > > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not
                          > > really
                          > > > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or
                          judgments,
                          > > > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
                          > > >
                          > > > A learning teacher
                          > > > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-
                          fussy
                          > > > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
                          > > learning,
                          > > > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I
                          > value
                          > > > even more the experience of learning in the company of others
                          who
                          > > are
                          > > > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
                          > > something
                          > > > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with
                          the
                          > > others
                          > > > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as
                          contagious,
                          > > and
                          > > > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend
                          or
                          > > teacher
                          > > > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
                          > > >
                          > > > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one
                          who
                          > > > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the quality
                          of
                          > > > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches
                          by
                          > > their
                          > > > learning. Working with what comes requires continually
                          learning
                          > my
                          > > way
                          > > > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning what
                          is
                          > > going
                          > > > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my
                          students.
                          > I
                          > > do
                          > > > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service of
                          > the
                          > > > present moment rather than to hijack it.
                          > > >
                          > > > Spontaneity.
                          > > > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become clichéd
                          as
                          > a
                          > > > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected
                          unthinking
                          > > > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new
                          start
                          > > with
                          > > > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence, I
                          > will
                          > > now
                          > > > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on
                          the
                          > > first
                          > > > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
                          > > >
                          > > > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with
                          your
                          > > best
                          > > > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
                          > > > spontaneous glance shall bring you
                          > > >
                          > > > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of
                          raw
                          > and
                          > > > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and
                          > > > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in
                          > > > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is
                          > helpful.
                          > > > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an
                          unattributed
                          > > quote
                          > > > saying:
                          > > >
                          > > > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality,
                          embarrassment,
                          > or
                          > > > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality,
                          > naturalness,
                          > > > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
                          > > >
                          > > > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the
                          hint
                          > > that
                          > > > both formality and the fear of what others think
                          (embarrassment)
                          > > are
                          > > > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to
                          me
                          > of
                          > > a
                          > > > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can
                          operate
                          > in
                          > > me
                          > > > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come to
                          is
                          > > Viola
                          > > > Spolin saying:
                          > > >
                          > > > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It
                          creates
                          > an
                          > > > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames
                          of
                          > > > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
                          > > undigested
                          > > > theories and techniques of other people's findings.
                          Spontaneity
                          > is
                          > > the
                          > > > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and
                          > see
                          > > it,
                          > > > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and
                          > pieces
                          > > of
                          > > > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
                          > > discovery, of
                          > > > experiencing, of creative expression
                          > > >
                          > > > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of
                          > themes
                          > > that
                          > > > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying to
                          > say
                          > > > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from the
                          > past,
                          > > > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and
                          > other
                          > > > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's
                          > findings)
                          > > and
                          > > > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I
                          just
                          > > > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these
                          > words
                          > > leap
                          > > > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
                          > > >
                          > > > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can
                          also
                          > be
                          > > a
                          > > > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they
                          encounter
                          > a
                          > > > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the
                          > joints…..The
                          > > > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to
                          move
                          > and
                          > > > slows the body considerably.
                          > > >
                          > > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing lessons
                          > and
                          > > > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing
                          > oneself
                          > > to
                          > > > be present and preparing an activity?
                          > > >
                          > > > Listening
                          > > > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more
                          important
                          > > to
                          > > > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my felt
                          > > reality
                          > > > …. And the act of forming this into words and the constraints
                          of
                          > > > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets expressed.
                          > And
                          > > of
                          > > > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So
                          the
                          > > job of
                          > > > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of
                          high
                          > > > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to
                          the
                          > > words,
                          > > > second to what experience might be behind the words.
                          > > >
                          > > > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed ourselves
                          in
                          > > > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
                          > > laboratories in
                          > > > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in
                          > particular
                          > > that
                          > > > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's
                          shoes
                          > > and
                          > > > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
                          > > congruence or
                          > > > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
                          > > thinking
                          > > > another and acting out a third), and to develop unconditional
                          > > positive
                          > > > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible
                          towards
                          > > the
                          > > > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
                          > > > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want in
                          > order
                          > > > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific
                          help
                          > > in
                          > > > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the
                          > > internal
                          > > > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while
                          still
                          > > > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan
                          > what
                          > > to
                          > > > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments
                          > about
                          > > the
                          > > > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker …
                          etc).
                          > At
                          > > a
                          > > > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio.
                          There
                          > > are
                          > > > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half
                          heard
                          > > musics,
                          > > > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant
                          retuning
                          > > is
                          > > > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
                          > > constantly
                          > > > attending to this retuning … But at another level this
                          metaphor
                          > is
                          > > > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my ears
                          > but
                          > > my
                          > > > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
                          > > >
                          > > > Improvising jazz
                          > > > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs, bars
                          > and
                          > > > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between
                          > something
                          > > > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
                          > > something
                          > > > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So you
                          > have
                          > > a
                          > > > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment
                          tries
                          > to
                          > > > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know where
                          you
                          > > are
                          > > > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark
                          moment
                          > > you
                          > > > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played
                          > before
                          > > or
                          > > > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which
                          keep
                          > > > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this …
                          hot
                          > > licks)
                          > > > and something that you have never or seldom done before,
                          > something
                          > > new
                          > > > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and
                          > excites
                          > > and
                          > > > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band
                          to
                          > > band,
                          > > > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
                          > > >
                          > > > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most
                          great
                          > > jazz
                          > > > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A
                          > > supreme
                          > > > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger picture,
                          the
                          > > rest
                          > > > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to
                          > each
                          > > > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much
                          ego
                          > > > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1)
                          Improvising
                          > > music
                          > > > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my
                          > teaching,
                          > > > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious
                          and
                          > > > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations
                          that
                          > we
                          > > are
                          > > > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as
                          > > > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal
                          themes
                          > > of
                          > > > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore
                          this
                          > in
                          > > the
                          > > > next articles.
                          > > >
                          > > > Seeing the bigger picture
                          > > > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the
                          bigger
                          > > > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we
                          > > suffer
                          > > > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we
                          > don't
                          > > see
                          > > > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The
                          Dalai
                          > > Lama
                          > > > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a
                          lot
                          > > of
                          > > > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By
                          > > > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
                          > > picture.
                          > > > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know,
                          your
                          > > death
                          > > > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by your
                          > left
                          > > > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left and
                          > truly
                          > > > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall away
                          > and
                          > > ….."
                          > > >
                          > > > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of the
                          > > earth
                          > > > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves
                          from
                          > > outside
                          > > > ….. (click here to blow your mind
                          > > > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
                          > > >
                          > > > Homework
                          > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under the
                          > > general
                          > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                          here
                          > > are
                          > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                          > > >
                          > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                          hinders
                          > you
                          > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in your
                          > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                          > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                          areas
                          > of
                          > > life
                          > > > you can feel your improvisation
                          > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                          individual
                          > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                          to
                          > > see,
                          > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the classroom,
                          > > visible
                          > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                          > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                          > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                          them
                          > > into
                          > > > the second of these articles
                          > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury.
                          > See
                          > > the
                          > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                          > > newsletter.
                          > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                          > > >
                          > > > adrian.underhill@
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow throughout
                          a
                          > > human
                          > > > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools,
                          > classrooms,
                          > > > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership
                          styles
                          > > that
                          > > > function well in complex settings. I am series editor
                          > of Macmillan
                          > > > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
                          > > development
                          > > > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate
                          > Diploma
                          > > in
                          > > > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and
                          > > Business
                          > > > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and
                          > > organic
                          > > > gardener.
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • duncanfoord
                          testing testing ... like ... here. ... to ... social ... by ... clown ... fairly ... read. ... training ... face- ... say ... an ... classroom ... are ...
                          Message 12 of 18 , Feb 12, 2009
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                            testing testing


                            --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi Claire
                            >
                            > I suppose it depends on your audience. On a closed course people
                            > feel they know each other and can open up more than on a forum
                            like
                            > this. Its interesting that you noticed that sense of formality
                            here.
                            > I was thinking from a teachers point of view about me being able
                            to
                            > listen better when I'm reading if that makes sense. There is a
                            > pressure in real time classrooms to respond to interventions,
                            social
                            > convention seems to demand it.Adrian's idea I tunderstand is that
                            by
                            > listening more attentively we can respond more sopontaneously
                            > (authenticly even)
                            >
                            > I notice there is a course at Pilgrims in April on finding the
                            clown
                            > inside you which looks like it could hit a similar spot. I'm
                            fairly
                            > convinced that students are interested in how teachers and fellow
                            > students are as much as what they say, so it makes sense as
                            > developing teachers for us to explore that
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "chvenables" <chvenables@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Thanks for posting the article from Adrian. It was a good
                            read.
                            > > This week, I'm going to try the 'homework' tasks that Colin
                            > suggested
                            > > and post again.
                            > >
                            > > Duncan, I was really surprised to see that you find an online
                            > format
                            > > allows you to improvise more. I've just started teacher
                            training
                            > on
                            > > an online course and I'm finding the opposite to be true! In
                            face-
                            > to-
                            > > face courses I feel like I'm much more honest, spontaneous and
                            > > fresh. When I read the posts in the forums, it seems like
                            > everyone
                            > > is thinking too much about what they write. Everyone wants to
                            say
                            > > the right thing.
                            > > How do you break down barriers between people online and create
                            an
                            > > atmosphere where people feel free to be spontaneous with the
                            > things
                            > > they contribute?
                            > >
                            > > Claire Venables
                            > >
                            > > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the
                            classroom
                            > > > helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to
                            > people
                            > > if
                            > > > they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students
                            are
                            > in
                            > > > clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more
                            > natural
                            > > > (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful.
                            There
                            > is
                            > > a
                            > > > tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon
                            to
                            > > speak
                            > > > to the whole group.
                            > > >
                            > > > 2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
                            > > > improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line
                            according
                            > to
                            > > > the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as
                            > teachers
                            > > > and trainers and human beings we probably could make more
                            > choices
                            > > > nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working
                            > on
                            > > > online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
                            > > > Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than
                            > > taking
                            > > > them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in
                            > face
                            > > > to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my
                            > responses
                            > > to
                            > > > participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering
                            > > monkeys,
                            > > > but I feel their impact is minimised in this format
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Hello All
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                            > > > Underhill's
                            > > > > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some
                            homework
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Homework
                            > > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under
                            the
                            > > > general
                            > > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                            > here
                            > > > are
                            > > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                            > hinders
                            > > you
                            > > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in
                            your
                            > > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                            > > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                            > areas
                            > > of
                            > > > life
                            > > > > you can feel your improvisation
                            > > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                            > individual
                            > > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                            > to
                            > > > see,
                            > > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the
                            classroom,
                            > > > visible
                            > > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                            > > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                            > > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                            > them
                            > > > into
                            > > > > the second of these articles
                            > > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
                            Canterbury.
                            > > See
                            > > > the
                            > > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                            > > > newsletter.
                            > > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be
                            > very
                            > > > happy
                            > > > > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole
                            article
                            > > > below
                            > > > > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                            > > > discussion
                            > > > > list website in case you don't get attachments)
                            > > > >
                            > > > > All the best
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Colin
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
                            > > > >
                            > > > > As I sit down to write this article the question I am
                            carrying
                            > is
                            > > > felt,
                            > > > > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am
                            > about
                            > > > to
                            > > > > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary
                            > conversation
                            > > > with
                            > > > > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the
                            question?
                            > It
                            > > > is
                            > > > > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what
                            > > comes,
                            > > > to
                            > > > > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Missing what comes because I already know….
                            > > > > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the
                            > strands
                            > > > that
                            > > > > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
                            > > > articles,
                            > > > > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and
                            > make
                            > > > some
                            > > > > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
                            > > > facilitating.
                            > > > > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly
                            tendency
                            > to
                            > > > > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer.
                            > And
                            > > > the
                            > > > > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the
                            years
                            > is
                            > > > that
                            > > > > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with
                            > the
                            > > > > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by
                            the
                            > > past,
                            > > > by
                            > > > > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by
                            > what
                            > > > is
                            > > > > happening under my nose.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs
                            doing
                            > in
                            > > > > response to this student or that question, the less
                            available
                            > > > attention
                            > > > > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
                            > > > attention
                            > > > > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do
                            not
                            > > > really
                            > > > > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or
                            > judgments,
                            > > > > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > A learning teacher
                            > > > > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-
                            > fussy
                            > > > > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
                            > > > learning,
                            > > > > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and
                            I
                            > > value
                            > > > > even more the experience of learning in the company of
                            others
                            > who
                            > > > are
                            > > > > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening
                            to
                            > > > something
                            > > > > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with
                            > the
                            > > > others
                            > > > > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as
                            > contagious,
                            > > > and
                            > > > > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend
                            > or
                            > > > teacher
                            > > > > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one
                            > who
                            > > > > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the
                            quality
                            > of
                            > > > > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches
                            > by
                            > > > their
                            > > > > learning. Working with what comes requires continually
                            > learning
                            > > my
                            > > > way
                            > > > > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning
                            what
                            > is
                            > > > going
                            > > > > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my
                            > students.
                            > > I
                            > > > do
                            > > > > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service
                            of
                            > > the
                            > > > > present moment rather than to hijack it.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Spontaneity.
                            > > > > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become
                            clichéd
                            > as
                            > > a
                            > > > > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected
                            > unthinking
                            > > > > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new
                            > start
                            > > > with
                            > > > > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence,
                            I
                            > > will
                            > > > now
                            > > > > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on
                            > the
                            > > > first
                            > > > > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with
                            > your
                            > > > best
                            > > > > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
                            > > > > spontaneous glance shall bring you
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of
                            > raw
                            > > and
                            > > > > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought
                            and
                            > > > > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity
                            in
                            > > > > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is
                            > > helpful.
                            > > > > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an
                            > unattributed
                            > > > quote
                            > > > > saying:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality,
                            > embarrassment,
                            > > or
                            > > > > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality,
                            > > naturalness,
                            > > > > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the
                            > hint
                            > > > that
                            > > > > both formality and the fear of what others think
                            > (embarrassment)
                            > > > are
                            > > > > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to
                            > me
                            > > of
                            > > > a
                            > > > > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can
                            > operate
                            > > in
                            > > > me
                            > > > > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come
                            to
                            > is
                            > > > Viola
                            > > > > Spolin saying:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It
                            > creates
                            > > an
                            > > > > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down
                            frames
                            > of
                            > > > > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
                            > > > undigested
                            > > > > theories and techniques of other people's findings.
                            > Spontaneity
                            > > is
                            > > > the
                            > > > > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality,
                            and
                            > > see
                            > > > it,
                            > > > > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and
                            > > pieces
                            > > > of
                            > > > > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
                            > > > discovery, of
                            > > > > experiencing, of creative expression
                            > > > >
                            > > > > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of
                            > > themes
                            > > > that
                            > > > > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying
                            to
                            > > say
                            > > > > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from
                            the
                            > > past,
                            > > > > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and
                            > > other
                            > > > > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's
                            > > findings)
                            > > > and
                            > > > > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I
                            > just
                            > > > > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these
                            > > words
                            > > > leap
                            > > > > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can
                            > also
                            > > be
                            > > > a
                            > > > > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they
                            > encounter
                            > > a
                            > > > > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the
                            > > joints…..The
                            > > > > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to
                            > move
                            > > and
                            > > > > slows the body considerably.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing
                            lessons
                            > > and
                            > > > > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing
                            > > oneself
                            > > > to
                            > > > > be present and preparing an activity?
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Listening
                            > > > > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more
                            > important
                            > > > to
                            > > > > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my
                            felt
                            > > > reality
                            > > > > …. And the act of forming this into words and the
                            constraints
                            > of
                            > > > > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets
                            expressed.
                            > > And
                            > > > of
                            > > > > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So
                            > the
                            > > > job of
                            > > > > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of
                            > high
                            > > > > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to
                            > the
                            > > > words,
                            > > > > second to what experience might be behind the words.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed
                            ourselves
                            > in
                            > > > > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
                            > > > laboratories in
                            > > > > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in
                            > > particular
                            > > > that
                            > > > > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's
                            > shoes
                            > > > and
                            > > > > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
                            > > > congruence or
                            > > > > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
                            > > > thinking
                            > > > > another and acting out a third), and to develop
                            unconditional
                            > > > positive
                            > > > > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible
                            > towards
                            > > > the
                            > > > > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
                            > > > > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want
                            in
                            > > order
                            > > > > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific
                            > help
                            > > > in
                            > > > > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening
                            (the
                            > > > internal
                            > > > > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while
                            > still
                            > > > > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to
                            plan
                            > > what
                            > > > to
                            > > > > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating)
                            judgments
                            > > about
                            > > > the
                            > > > > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker …
                            > etc).
                            > > At
                            > > > a
                            > > > > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio.
                            > There
                            > > > are
                            > > > > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half
                            > heard
                            > > > musics,
                            > > > > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant
                            > retuning
                            > > > is
                            > > > > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
                            > > > constantly
                            > > > > attending to this retuning … But at another level this
                            > metaphor
                            > > is
                            > > > > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my
                            ears
                            > > but
                            > > > my
                            > > > > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Improvising jazz
                            > > > > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs,
                            bars
                            > > and
                            > > > > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between
                            > > something
                            > > > > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
                            > > > something
                            > > > > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So
                            you
                            > > have
                            > > > a
                            > > > > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment
                            > tries
                            > > to
                            > > > > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know
                            where
                            > you
                            > > > are
                            > > > > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark
                            > moment
                            > > > you
                            > > > > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played
                            > > before
                            > > > or
                            > > > > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which
                            > keep
                            > > > > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this …
                            > hot
                            > > > licks)
                            > > > > and something that you have never or seldom done before,
                            > > something
                            > > > new
                            > > > > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and
                            > > excites
                            > > > and
                            > > > > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band
                            > to
                            > > > band,
                            > > > > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most
                            > great
                            > > > jazz
                            > > > > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening.
                            A
                            > > > supreme
                            > > > > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger
                            picture,
                            > the
                            > > > rest
                            > > > > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen
                            to
                            > > each
                            > > > > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too
                            much
                            > ego
                            > > > > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1)
                            > Improvising
                            > > > music
                            > > > > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my
                            > > teaching,
                            > > > > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is
                            obvious
                            > and
                            > > > > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations
                            > that
                            > > we
                            > > > are
                            > > > > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves
                            as
                            > > > > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal
                            > themes
                            > > > of
                            > > > > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore
                            > this
                            > > in
                            > > > the
                            > > > > next articles.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Seeing the bigger picture
                            > > > > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the
                            > bigger
                            > > > > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says
                            we
                            > > > suffer
                            > > > > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture
                            we
                            > > don't
                            > > > see
                            > > > > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The
                            > Dalai
                            > > > Lama
                            > > > > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless
                            a
                            > lot
                            > > > of
                            > > > > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How?
                            By
                            > > > > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the
                            bigger
                            > > > picture.
                            > > > > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know,
                            > your
                            > > > death
                            > > > > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by
                            your
                            > > left
                            > > > > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left
                            and
                            > > truly
                            > > > > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall
                            away
                            > > and
                            > > > ….."
                            > > > >
                            > > > > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of
                            the
                            > > > earth
                            > > > > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves
                            > from
                            > > > outside
                            > > > > ….. (click here to blow your mind
                            > > > > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Homework
                            > > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under
                            the
                            > > > general
                            > > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                            > here
                            > > > are
                            > > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                            > hinders
                            > > you
                            > > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in
                            your
                            > > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                            > > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                            > areas
                            > > of
                            > > > life
                            > > > > you can feel your improvisation
                            > > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                            > individual
                            > > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                            > to
                            > > > see,
                            > > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the
                            classroom,
                            > > > visible
                            > > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                            > > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                            > > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                            > them
                            > > > into
                            > > > > the second of these articles
                            > > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
                            Canterbury.
                            > > See
                            > > > the
                            > > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                            > > > newsletter.
                            > > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > adrian.underhill@
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow
                            throughout
                            > a
                            > > > human
                            > > > > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools,
                            > > classrooms,
                            > > > > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership
                            > styles
                            > > > that
                            > > > > function well in complex settings. I am series editor
                            > > of Macmillan
                            > > > > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
                            > > > development
                            > > > > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate
                            > > Diploma
                            > > > in
                            > > > > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility
                            and
                            > > > Business
                            > > > > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist
                            and
                            > > > organic
                            > > > > gardener.
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • duncanfoord
                            Herei sthe info on the clowning course for anyone who is interested Learning from the clown within- Spontaneity training Facilitated by Carol Thompson Valuable
                            Message 13 of 18 , Feb 12, 2009
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                              Herei sthe info on the clowning course for anyone who is interested

                              Learning from the clown within- Spontaneity training

                              Facilitated by Carol Thompson

                              Valuable learning for you as a teacher can come from discovering and
                              playing with your inner clown. This approach to clowning is not
                              about techniques (tricks, gags and routines); it is a personal
                              journey towards finding one's own unique way of being a clown.
                              Through the clown we access an enhanced openness and attentiveness,
                              a heightened sense of empathy, a higher degree of presence and
                              spontaneity and a delightful way of being when things go wrong. This
                              will be an introductory, experiential workshop, learning the ways of
                              the clown through play, games and short improvisations in a safe and
                              secure environment.
                              And it's a lot of fun!

                              Carol Thompson is a teacher, actress, trainer, Laughter Leader
                              and "Clown Within" facilitator. She is also an NLP Master
                              Practitioner and therapeutic counsellor with over 25 years'
                              experience of helping people to communicate creatively. She trained
                              in clowning and clown facilitation with Vivian Gladwell in "NOSE TO
                              NOSE". Carol is passionate about helping people to discover their
                              inner clown and to manifest the qualities of the clown in their
                              lives both personally and professionally. To find out more about
                              this work go to www.nosetonose.info




                              -- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Claire
                              >
                              > I suppose it depends on your audience. On a closed course people
                              > feel they know each other and can open up more than on a forum
                              like
                              > this. Its interesting that you noticed that sense of formality
                              here.
                              > I was thinking from a teachers point of view about me being able
                              to
                              > listen better when I'm reading if that makes sense. There is a
                              > pressure in real time classrooms to respond to interventions,
                              social
                              > convention seems to demand it.Adrian's idea I tunderstand is that
                              by
                              > listening more attentively we can respond more sopontaneously
                              > (authenticly even)
                              >
                              > I notice there is a course at Pilgrims in April on finding the
                              clown
                              > inside you which looks like it could hit a similar spot. I'm
                              fairly
                              > convinced that students are interested in how teachers and fellow
                              > students are as much as what they say, so it makes sense as
                              > developing teachers for us to explore that
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "chvenables" <chvenables@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Thanks for posting the article from Adrian. It was a good
                              read.
                              > > This week, I'm going to try the 'homework' tasks that Colin
                              > suggested
                              > > and post again.
                              > >
                              > > Duncan, I was really surprised to see that you find an online
                              > format
                              > > allows you to improvise more. I've just started teacher
                              training
                              > on
                              > > an online course and I'm finding the opposite to be true! In
                              face-
                              > to-
                              > > face courses I feel like I'm much more honest, spontaneous and
                              > > fresh. When I read the posts in the forums, it seems like
                              > everyone
                              > > is thinking too much about what they write. Everyone wants to
                              say
                              > > the right thing.
                              > > How do you break down barriers between people online and create
                              an
                              > > atmosphere where people feel free to be spontaneous with the
                              > things
                              > > they contribute?
                              > >
                              > > Claire Venables
                              > >
                              > > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the
                              classroom
                              > > > helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to
                              > people
                              > > if
                              > > > they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students
                              are
                              > in
                              > > > clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more
                              > natural
                              > > > (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful.
                              There
                              > is
                              > > a
                              > > > tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon
                              to
                              > > speak
                              > > > to the whole group.
                              > > >
                              > > > 2. There could be a continuum from zero improvisation to 100%
                              > > > improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on this line
                              according
                              > to
                              > > > the circumstances. I agree with Adians implication that as
                              > teachers
                              > > > and trainers and human beings we probably could make more
                              > choices
                              > > > nearer the improvisation end. One thing I have noticed working
                              > on
                              > > > online courses is that the format allows me to improvise more.
                              > > > Working with what particpants produce on the forum rather than
                              > > taking
                              > > > them through my "story" of a subject, which tends to happen in
                              > face
                              > > > to face training seems to be what happens. Of course my
                              > responses
                              > > to
                              > > > participants output are doubtless crowded with my chattering
                              > > monkeys,
                              > > > but I feel their impact is minimised in this format
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, Colin Mackenzie <colin@> wrote:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Hello All
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Those of you who are Td SIG members will have seen Adrian
                              > > > Underhill's
                              > > > > article in the latest newsletter. In it he set us some
                              homework
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Homework
                              > > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under
                              the
                              > > > general
                              > > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                              > here
                              > > > are
                              > > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                              > hinders
                              > > you
                              > > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in
                              your
                              > > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                              > > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                              > areas
                              > > of
                              > > > life
                              > > > > you can feel your improvisation
                              > > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                              > individual
                              > > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                              > to
                              > > > see,
                              > > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the
                              classroom,
                              > > > visible
                              > > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                              > > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                              > > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                              > them
                              > > > into
                              > > > > the second of these articles
                              > > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
                              Canterbury.
                              > > See
                              > > > the
                              > > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                              > > > newsletter.
                              > > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Number 4 says post our views on the discussion list, we'd be
                              > very
                              > > > happy
                              > > > > to hear your opinions on this. I've included the whole
                              article
                              > > > below
                              > > > > and am also attaching it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the
                              > > > discussion
                              > > > > list website in case you don't get attachments)
                              > > > >
                              > > > > All the best
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Colin
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Work with what comes - Adrian Underhill
                              > > > >
                              > > > > As I sit down to write this article the question I am
                              carrying
                              > is
                              > > > felt,
                              > > > > but indistinct, and I hope that this writing adventure I am
                              > about
                              > > > to
                              > > > > begin, which will include a kind of semi-imaginary
                              > conversation
                              > > > with
                              > > > > you, will clarify and explore this question. And the
                              question?
                              > It
                              > > > is
                              > > > > around the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what
                              > > comes,
                              > > > to
                              > > > > be guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Missing what comes because I already know….
                              > > > > In this first article I intend to indicate a few of the
                              > strands
                              > > > that
                              > > > > fascinate me in this connection, and in the subsequent two
                              > > > articles,
                              > > > > perhaps with your help, to pull these strands together and
                              > make
                              > > > some
                              > > > > concrete proposals for my / our teaching, training and
                              > > > facilitating.
                              > > > > So, the first strand is the challenge of my teacherly
                              tendency
                              > to
                              > > > > already know what to do, my tendency to have a ready answer.
                              > And
                              > > > the
                              > > > > problem with this as I notice ever more acutely over the
                              years
                              > is
                              > > > that
                              > > > > by being with my expertise and cleverness, rather than with
                              > the
                              > > > > situation as it is, I am guided not by the present but by
                              the
                              > > past,
                              > > > by
                              > > > > previous experiences and expectations I bring rather than by
                              > what
                              > > > is
                              > > > > happening under my nose.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > I notice too that the more certain I am about what needs
                              doing
                              > in
                              > > > > response to this student or that question, the less
                              available
                              > > > attention
                              > > > > I have to listen to the current situation as it emerges. My
                              > > > attention
                              > > > > gets kind of mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do
                              not
                              > > > really
                              > > > > see the situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or
                              > judgments,
                              > > > > usually the same ones I have jumped to in the past.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > A learning teacher
                              > > > > In case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-
                              > fussy
                              > > > > teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of
                              > > > learning,
                              > > > > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and
                              I
                              > > value
                              > > > > even more the experience of learning in the company of
                              others
                              > who
                              > > > are
                              > > > > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening
                              to
                              > > > something
                              > > > > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection with
                              > the
                              > > > others
                              > > > > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning as
                              > contagious,
                              > > > and
                              > > > > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am with a friend
                              > or
                              > > > teacher
                              > > > > or boss who is learning as we go, it evokes the same in me.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > This is why I value the concept of the learning teacher, one
                              > who
                              > > > > actually demonstrates moment by moment in a lesson the
                              quality
                              > of
                              > > > > learning they hope for from their students. One who teaches
                              > by
                              > > > their
                              > > > > learning. Working with what comes requires continually
                              > learning
                              > > my
                              > > > way
                              > > > > into each present moment as it cascades in. Just learning
                              what
                              > is
                              > > > going
                              > > > > on puts me on the same side of the learning fence as my
                              > students.
                              > > I
                              > > > do
                              > > > > need my past experience, but I need it to be in the service
                              of
                              > > the
                              > > > > present moment rather than to hijack it.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Spontaneity.
                              > > > > I hesitate to use this word as for some it has become
                              clichéd
                              > as
                              > > a
                              > > > > manifestation of immature, ill considered disconnected
                              > unthinking
                              > > > > action (which I can do quite well myself). So to make a new
                              > start
                              > > > with
                              > > > > this word, and as I sit here at this point in this sentence,
                              I
                              > > will
                              > > > now
                              > > > > google spontaneity ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on
                              > the
                              > > > first
                              > > > > URL is Ralph Waldo Emerson saying
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Our spontaneous action is always the best. You cannot, with
                              > your
                              > > > best
                              > > > > deliberation and heed, come so close to any question as your
                              > > > > spontaneous glance shall bring you
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Hmm, that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of
                              > raw
                              > > and
                              > > > > immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought
                              and
                              > > > > categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity
                              in
                              > > > > opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is
                              > > helpful.
                              > > > > Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an
                              > unattributed
                              > > > quote
                              > > > > saying:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality,
                              > embarrassment,
                              > > or
                              > > > > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness, informality,
                              > > naturalness,
                              > > > > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the
                              > hint
                              > > > that
                              > > > > both formality and the fear of what others think
                              > (embarrassment)
                              > > > are
                              > > > > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to
                              > me
                              > > of
                              > > > a
                              > > > > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can
                              > operate
                              > > in
                              > > > me
                              > > > > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I come
                              to
                              > is
                              > > > Viola
                              > > > > Spolin saying:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It
                              > creates
                              > > an
                              > > > > explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down
                              frames
                              > of
                              > > > > reference, memory choked with old facts and information and
                              > > > undigested
                              > > > > theories and techniques of other people's findings.
                              > Spontaneity
                              > > is
                              > > > the
                              > > > > moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality,
                              and
                              > > see
                              > > > it,
                              > > > > explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and
                              > > pieces
                              > > > of
                              > > > > ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of
                              > > > discovery, of
                              > > > > experiencing, of creative expression
                              > > > >
                              > > > > This is really exciting! She puts her finger on a number of
                              > > themes
                              > > > that
                              > > > > really speak to me and that resonate with what I was trying
                              to
                              > > say
                              > > > > earlier. So there is something here about liberation from
                              the
                              > > past,
                              > > > > both mine (memory choked with old facts and information) and
                              > > other
                              > > > > people's (handed-down frames of reference, other people's
                              > > findings)
                              > > > and
                              > > > > something about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I
                              > just
                              > > > > clicked a link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these
                              > > words
                              > > > leap
                              > > > > to my attention so I must just drop this in:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Planning may be necessary in many circumstances but it can
                              > also
                              > > be
                              > > > a
                              > > > > hindrance. When a person prepares for an activity they
                              > encounter
                              > > a
                              > > > > minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the
                              > > joints…..The
                              > > > > subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to
                              > move
                              > > and
                              > > > > slows the body considerably.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time preparing
                              lessons
                              > > and
                              > > > > training sessions. Is there a difference between preparing
                              > > oneself
                              > > > to
                              > > > > be present and preparing an activity?
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Listening
                              > > > > When I speak, especially when in settings that are more
                              > important
                              > > > to
                              > > > > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for my
                              felt
                              > > > reality
                              > > > > …. And the act of forming this into words and the
                              constraints
                              > of
                              > > > > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets
                              expressed.
                              > > And
                              > > > of
                              > > > > that, only some of what I articulate actually gets heard. So
                              > the
                              > > > job of
                              > > > > a listener who wishes to offer to the speaker the service of
                              > high
                              > > > > quality listening becomes one of listening first perhaps to
                              > the
                              > > > words,
                              > > > > second to what experience might be behind the words.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG we immersed
                              ourselves
                              > in
                              > > > > encounter groups of the type proposed by Carl Rogers as
                              > > > laboratories in
                              > > > > which to learn to listen, there were three qualities in
                              > > particular
                              > > > that
                              > > > > we were invited to explore: empathy (to stand in another's
                              > shoes
                              > > > and
                              > > > > get closer to what it was like to be in their situation),
                              > > > congruence or
                              > > > > being real (to be all-of-a-piece, not saying one thing while
                              > > > thinking
                              > > > > another and acting out a third), and to develop
                              unconditional
                              > > > positive
                              > > > > regard (ie a sense of warm acceptance as far as possible
                              > towards
                              > > > the
                              > > > > humanness of the other, beyond any position of agreement and
                              > > > > disagreement, and not dependent on them doing what we want
                              in
                              > > order
                              > > > > that they have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific
                              > help
                              > > > in
                              > > > > enabling me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening
                              (the
                              > > > internal
                              > > > > noise of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while
                              > still
                              > > > > nodding my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to
                              plan
                              > > what
                              > > > to
                              > > > > say next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating)
                              judgments
                              > > about
                              > > > the
                              > > > > speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker …
                              > etc).
                              > > At
                              > > > a
                              > > > > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio.
                              > There
                              > > > are
                              > > > > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half
                              > heard
                              > > > musics,
                              > > > > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant
                              > retuning
                              > > > is
                              > > > > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice of
                              > > > constantly
                              > > > > attending to this retuning … But at another level this
                              > metaphor
                              > > is
                              > > > > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not just my
                              ears
                              > > but
                              > > > my
                              > > > > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or receiver….
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Improvising jazz
                              > > > > I am an improvising musician. Mostly I play jazz in pubs,
                              bars
                              > > and
                              > > > > clubs. When playing jazz one looks for a balance between
                              > > something
                              > > > > given, usually the basic melody and the chord sequence, and
                              > > > something
                              > > > > fresh which one aspires to bring to the improvisation. So
                              you
                              > > have
                              > > > a
                              > > > > kind of scaffolding within which the soloist of the moment
                              > tries
                              > > to
                              > > > > tell a new story. When you start a solo you do not know
                              where
                              > you
                              > > > are
                              > > > > going. The story emerges by telling it. And in this stark
                              > moment
                              > > > you
                              > > > > find yourself right on the edge between what you have played
                              > > before
                              > > > or
                              > > > > what you typically play, your usual catch phrases etc, which
                              > keep
                              > > > > trying to insert themselves (there is even a name for this …
                              > hot
                              > > > licks)
                              > > > > and something that you have never or seldom done before,
                              > > something
                              > > > new
                              > > > > created out of the moment, AND something that interests and
                              > > excites
                              > > > and
                              > > > > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band
                              > to
                              > > > band,
                              > > > > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > There are many skills of musicianship of course, but most
                              > great
                              > > > jazz
                              > > > > players will tell you that the queen of skills is listening.
                              A
                              > > > supreme
                              > > > > solo that is not played in the context of the bigger
                              picture,
                              > the
                              > > > rest
                              > > > > of the band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen
                              to
                              > > each
                              > > > > other and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too
                              much
                              > ego
                              > > > > destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1)
                              > Improvising
                              > > > music
                              > > > > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my
                              > > teaching,
                              > > > > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is
                              obvious
                              > and
                              > > > > visible, but what are all the other improvising situations
                              > that
                              > > we
                              > > > are
                              > > > > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves
                              as
                              > > > > improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal
                              > themes
                              > > > of
                              > > > > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore
                              > this
                              > > in
                              > > > the
                              > > > > next articles.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Seeing the bigger picture
                              > > > > Well, this is very hard to do since we are a part of the
                              > bigger
                              > > > > picture, and how can a part see the whole? Barry Oshry says
                              we
                              > > > suffer
                              > > > > from system blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture
                              we
                              > > don't
                              > > > see
                              > > > > how our actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The
                              > Dalai
                              > > > Lama
                              > > > > proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless
                              a
                              > lot
                              > > > of
                              > > > > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How?
                              By
                              > > > > permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the
                              bigger
                              > > > picture.
                              > > > > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You know,
                              > your
                              > > > death
                              > > > > is your biggest friend, and what's more this friend is by
                              your
                              > > left
                              > > > > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn to your left
                              and
                              > > truly
                              > > > > speak to your friend, all the crap in your life will fall
                              away
                              > > and
                              > > > ….."
                              > > > >
                              > > > > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be the NASA pictures of
                              the
                              > > > earth
                              > > > > from space in the sixties, the first time we saw ourselves
                              > from
                              > > > outside
                              > > > > ….. (click here to blow your mind
                              > > > > http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/)
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Homework
                              > > > > In the second article I will return to these themes under
                              the
                              > > > general
                              > > > > heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader,
                              > here
                              > > > are
                              > > > > some experiments you might like to try:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps you and what
                              > hinders
                              > > you
                              > > > > from working with what comes. Explore this in practice in
                              your
                              > > > > classroom / office / workplace.
                              > > > > 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                              > areas
                              > > of
                              > > > life
                              > > > > you can feel your improvisation
                              > > > > 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your attention in to
                              > individual
                              > > > > classroom happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try
                              > to
                              > > > see,
                              > > > > feel and sense everything that is happening in the
                              classroom,
                              > > > visible
                              > > > > and invisible. What different faculties do you need?
                              > > > > 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                              > > > > (TDSIG-subscribe@yahoogroups.com). And I will try to weave
                              > them
                              > > > into
                              > > > > the second of these articles
                              > > > > 5. Read about the Open Space Technology session in
                              Canterbury.
                              > > See
                              > > > the
                              > > > > workshop description on the flyer you received with this
                              > > > newsletter.
                              > > > > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > adrian.underhill@
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to flow
                              throughout
                              > a
                              > > > human
                              > > > > system by developing connectivity within (eg) schools,
                              > > classrooms,
                              > > > > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by developing leadership
                              > styles
                              > > > that
                              > > > > function well in complex settings. I am series editor
                              > > of Macmillan
                              > > > > Books for Teachers and member of the advisory board for the
                              > > > development
                              > > > > of the Macmillan English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate
                              > > Diploma
                              > > > in
                              > > > > Group Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility
                              and
                              > > > Business
                              > > > > Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist
                              and
                              > > > organic
                              > > > > gardener.
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • Juliet du Mont
                              Hi Claire, I d love to know the outcome of your experiment! I m currently conducting workshops with a group of teachers on the topic of movement in ELT from
                              Message 14 of 18 , Feb 13, 2009
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                                Hi Claire,
                                 
                                I'd love to know the outcome of your experiment!  I'm currently conducting workshops with a group of teachers on the topic of movement in ELT from both teacher and student perspectives, and gathering research data.  If you are interested I can send you a questionnaire for teachers and one for students.  Good luck!
                                 
                                Juliet



                                To: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
                                From: chvenables@...
                                Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 11:31:48 +0000
                                Subject: [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes


                                Hi Juliet,

                                I love your idea of doing a physical warm-up at the start of the
                                class. I do this every class with my young learners and don't know
                                why I don't with adults.
                                It going to be my experiment for this week!

                                Claire Venables

                                --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups. com, Juliet du Mont <julietdumont@ ...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Hello there,
                                >
                                > I do agree with Duncan about there being an improvisation
                                continuum. It is a feature of the multi-dimensional balance which is
                                always operational within a classroom.
                                >
                                > Something that helps me to precipitate working with what comes is
                                to begin a class with a short physical warm-up. It helps leave
                                the 'baggage' outside the classroom, bonds and focuses the class. It
                                literally and metaphorically gets the blood going, breaking down
                                barriers, leaving an environment where working with what comes can
                                operate from both Ss' and Ts' angles.
                                >
                                > Something else that can help is being under pressure of time - of
                                course this situation can be very destructive but if treated
                                sensitively can give rise to a dynamic and creative environment, ripe
                                for working wth what comes. Once again, it breaks down barriers,
                                frees exchange.
                                >
                                > What militates against working with what comes? Being in a
                                teaching environment where for some reason these kind of options
                                cannot function!
                                >
                                > Juliet
                                >
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                                >
                                > To: TDSIG@...: duncan@...: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 14:28:55 +0000Subject:
                                [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > 1 For me paying attention to the phsical layout of the classroom
                                helps me to work with what comes. I can't easily listen to people if
                                they are all in a horseshoe with me out front. When students are in
                                clusters or mingling I think their contributions become more natural
                                (spontaneous) and my responses more authentic and useful. There is a
                                tendency for me (and students) to "perform" when called upon to speak
                                to the whole group.2. There could be a continuum from zero
                                improvisation to 100% improvisation. We put ourselves somewhere on
                                this line according to the circumstances. I agree with Adians
                                implication that as teachers and trainers and human beings we
                                probably could make more choices nearer the improvisation end. One
                                thing I have noticed working on online courses is that the format
                                allows me to improvise more. Working with what particpants produce on
                                the forum rather than taking them through my "story" of a subject,
                                which tends to happen in face to face training seems to be what
                                happens. Of course my responses to participants output are doubtless
                                crowded with my chattering monkeys, but I feel their impact is
                                minimised in this format--- In TDSIG@yahoogroups. com, Colin Mackenzie
                                <colin@> wrote:>> Hello All> > Those of you who are Td SIG members
                                will have seen Adrian Underhill's > article in the latest newsletter.
                                In it he set us some homework> > Homework> In the second article I
                                will return to these themes under the general > heading of work with
                                what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here are > some experiments
                                you might like to try:> > 1. Notice in very specific ways what helps
                                you and what hinders you > from working with what comes. Explore this
                                in practice in your > classroom / office / workplace.> 2. Think of
                                yourself as an improviser, and notice in what areas of life > you can
                                feel your improvisation> 3. Develop your capacity to zoom your
                                attention in to individual > classroom happenings, and to zoom your
                                attention back to try to see, > feel and sense everything that is
                                happening in the classroom, visible > and invisible. What different
                                faculties do you need?> 4. Post your views on the discussion list at
                                > (TDSIG-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com). And I will try to weave them
                                into > the second of these articles> 5. Read about the Open Space
                                Technology session in Canterbury. See the > workshop description on
                                the flyer you received with this newsletter. > Sign up if you
                                possible can and let's meet there.> > Number 4 says post our views on
                                the discussion list, we'd be very happy > to hear your opinions on
                                this. I've included the whole article below > and am also attaching
                                it in pdf (I'll also upload it to the discussion > list website in
                                case you don't get attachments) > > All the best> > Colin> > > > Work
                                with what comes - Adrian Underhill> > As I sit down to write this
                                article the question I am carrying is felt, > but indistinct, and I
                                hope that this writing adventure I am about to > begin, which will
                                include a kind of semi-imaginary conversation with > you, will
                                clarify and explore this question. And the question? It is > around
                                the injunction to a teacher to try to work with what comes, to > be
                                guided by what is happening, immediately, here, now.> > Missing what
                                comes because I already know….> In this first article I intend to
                                indicate a few of the strands that > fascinate me in this connection,
                                and in the subsequent two articles, > perhaps with your help, to pull
                                these strands together and make some > concrete proposals for my /
                                our teaching, training and facilitating. > So, the first strand is
                                the challenge of my teacherly tendency to > already know what to do,
                                my tendency to have a ready answer. And the > problem with this as I
                                notice ever more acutely over the years is that > by being with my
                                expertise and cleverness, rather than with the > situation as it is,
                                I am guided not by the present but by the past, by > previous
                                experiences and expectations I bring rather than by what is >
                                happening under my nose.> > I notice too that the more certain I am
                                about what needs doing in > response to this student or that
                                question, the less available attention > I have to listen to the
                                current situation as it emerges. My attention > gets kind of
                                mortgaged to the past. When this happens I do not really > see the
                                situation as it is, but jump to conclusions or judgments, > usually
                                the same ones I have jumped to in the past.> > A learning teacher> In
                                case I am emerging in your imagination as a rather over-fussy >
                                teacher, I should say that I value deeply the experience of learning,
                                > of finding that I am an organism designed for learning, and I value
                                > even more the experience of learning in the company of others who
                                are > also learning. When that happens I feel a kind of opening to
                                something > bigger than myself, a larger purpose, and a connection
                                with the others > I am with. Caleb Gattegno described real learning
                                as contagious, and > that is sometimes my experience too. When I am
                                with a friend or teacher > or boss who is learning as we go, it
                                evokes the same in me.> > This is why I value the concept of the
                                learning teacher, one who > actually demonstrates moment by moment in
                                a lesson the quality of > learning they hope for from their students.
                                One who teaches by their > learning. Working with what comes requires
                                continually learning my way > into each present moment as it cascades
                                in. Just learning what is going > on puts me on the same side of the
                                learning fence as my students. I do > need my past experience, but I
                                need it to be in the service of the > present moment rather than to
                                hijack it.> > Spontaneity. > I hesitate to use this word as for some
                                it has become clichéd as a > manifestation of immature, ill
                                considered disconnected unthinking > action (which I can do quite
                                well myself). So to make a new start with > this word, and as I sit
                                here at this point in this sentence, I will now > google spontaneity
                                ……….. OK …. So… What has just come up on the first > URL is Ralph
                                Waldo Emerson saying> > Our spontaneous action is always the best.
                                You cannot, with your best > deliberation and heed, come so close to
                                any question as your > spontaneous glance shall bring you> > Hmm,
                                that's a nice phrase …. spontaneous glance … a sort of raw and >
                                immediate apprehension before the filters of fine thought and >
                                categories get there…. RWE seems to be putting spontaneity in >
                                opposition with deliberation and heed. Right, so … this is helpful. >
                                Let's hang on to this and look at the next one, an unattributed quote
                                > saying:> > Spontaneity: freedom from constraint, formality,
                                embarrassment, or > awkwardness: casualness, ease, easiness,
                                informality, naturalness, > poise, unceremoniousness, unrestraint. > >
                                Yes this helps too. I like freedom from constraint and the hint that
                                > both formality and the fear of what others think (embarrassment)
                                are > constraints…. And the terms ease and poise …… This hints to me
                                of a > more intelligent kind of intuitive functioning that can
                                operate in me > when the conditions are right … And the third quote I
                                come to is Viola > Spolin saying:> > Through spontaneity we are re-
                                formed into ourselves. It creates an > explosion that for the moment
                                frees us from handed-down frames of > reference, memory choked with
                                old facts and information and undigested > theories and techniques of
                                other people's findings. Spontaneity is the > moment of personal
                                freedom when we are faced with reality, and see it, > explore it and
                                act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces of > ourselves
                                function as an organic whole. It is the time of discovery, of >
                                experiencing, of creative expression> > This is really exciting! She
                                puts her finger on a number of themes that > really speak to me and
                                that resonate with what I was trying to say > earlier. So there is
                                something here about liberation from the past, > both mine (memory
                                choked with old facts and information) and other > people's (handed-
                                down frames of reference, other people's findings) and > something
                                about coming back together as a whole … Woops …. I just > clicked a
                                link and find myself on a Tai Chi site where these words leap > to my
                                attention so I must just drop this in:> > Planning may be necessary
                                in many circumstances but it can also be a > hindrance. When a person
                                prepares for an activity they encounter a > minute tensing of the
                                muscles and a tightening of the joints…..The > subtle act of
                                preparation actually reduces your ability to move and > slows the
                                body considerably. > > Yes this is well put. We spend a lot of time
                                preparing lessons and > training sessions. Is there a difference
                                between preparing oneself to > be present and preparing an activity?>
                                > Listening> When I speak, especially when in settings that are more
                                important to > me, I think I try to make sense of and find words for
                                my felt reality > …. And the act of forming this into words and the
                                constraints of > conversation mean that only some of my reality gets
                                expressed. And of > that, only some of what I articulate actually
                                gets heard. So the job of > a listener who wishes to offer to the
                                speaker the service of high > quality listening becomes one of
                                listening first perhaps to the words, > second to what experience
                                might be behind the words.> > When, in an earlier phase of the TD SIG
                                we immersed ourselves in > encounter groups of the type proposed by
                                Carl Rogers as laboratories in > which to learn to listen, there were
                                three qualities in particular that > we were invited to explore:
                                empathy (to stand in another's shoes and > get closer to what it was
                                like to be in their situation), congruence or > being real (to be all-
                                of-a-piece, not saying one thing while thinking > another and acting
                                out a third), and to develop unconditional positive > regard (ie a
                                sense of warm acceptance as far as possible towards the > humanness
                                of the other, beyond any position of agreement and > disagreement,
                                and not dependent on them doing what we want in order > that they
                                have to `earn' that regard). These were a terrific help in > enabling
                                me to meet some of the gremlins in my listening (the internal > noise
                                of my own "chattering monkeys"; my day dreaming while still > nodding
                                my head to encourage the speaker; my tendency to plan what to > say
                                next while listening; my (perhaps debilitating) judgments about the >
                                speaker; my urge to correct, fix, or advise the speaker … etc). At a
                                > crude level this is like tuning in an old short wave radio. There
                                are > loads of voices, languages, crackle, strange noises, half heard
                                musics, > and eventually I tune in to the message, though constant
                                retuning is > needed as reception soon fades. And there is a practice
                                of constantly > attending to this retuning … But at another level
                                this metaphor is > insufficient, because what needs tuning in is not
                                just my ears but my > entire presence as a giant multi-modal ear or
                                receiver….> > Improvising jazz> I am an improvising musician. Mostly
                                I play jazz in pubs, bars and > clubs. When playing jazz one looks
                                for a balance between something > given, usually the basic melody and
                                the chord sequence, and something > fresh which one aspires to bring
                                to the improvisation. So you have a > kind of scaffolding within
                                which the soloist of the moment tries to > tell a new story. When you
                                start a solo you do not know where you are > going. The story emerges
                                by telling it. And in this stark moment you > find yourself right on
                                the edge between what you have played before or > what you typically
                                play, your usual catch phrases etc, which keep > trying to insert
                                themselves (there is even a name for this … hot licks) > and
                                something that you have never or seldom done before, something new >
                                created out of the moment, AND something that interests and excites
                                and > attracts everyone. The type of scaffolding differs from band to
                                band, > and throughout the different kinds of jazz.> > There are many
                                skills of musicianship of course, but most great jazz > players will
                                tell you that the queen of skills is listening. A supreme > solo that
                                is not played in the context of the bigger picture, the rest > of the
                                band, is not a supreme solo. Everyone has to listen to each > other
                                and no one knows what is going to happen next. Too much ego >
                                destroys the whole thing. I mention this because 1) Improvising music
                                > (always with others) has been the biggest influence on my teaching,
                                > training, facilitating and leadership, and 2) Jazz is obvious and >
                                visible, but what are all the other improvising situations that we
                                are > in each day, how can we see them and learn about ourselves as >
                                improvisers, and why is improvisation not one of the focal themes of
                                > teacher training and development programmes? I will explore this in
                                the > next articles.> > Seeing the bigger picture> Well, this is very
                                hard to do since we are a part of the bigger > picture, and how can a
                                part see the whole? Barry Oshry says we suffer > from system
                                blindness. Since cannot see the bigger picture we don't see > how our
                                actions tend to disconnect the bigger picture. The Dalai Lama >
                                proposes that while suffering is part of life, nevertheless a lot of
                                > our suffering is caused by ourselves and is avoidable. How? By >
                                permitting ourselves to see the wider perspective, the bigger
                                picture. > Carlos Casteneda reports Don Juan as telling him "You
                                know, your death > is your biggest friend, and what's more this
                                friend is by your left > shoulder all you life. And whenever you turn
                                to your left and truly > speak to your friend, all the crap in your
                                life will fall away and ….."> > The most iconic photo EVER….. must be
                                the NASA pictures of the earth > from space in the sixties, the first
                                time we saw ourselves from outside > ….. (click here to blow your
                                mind > http://earth. jsc.nasa. gov/sseop/ efs/)> > Homework> In the
                                second article I will return to these themes under the general >
                                heading of work with what comes, but meanwhile dear reader, here are
                                > some experiments you might like to try:> > 1. Notice in very
                                specific ways what helps you and what hinders you > from working with
                                what comes. Explore this in practice in your > classroom / office /
                                workplace.> 2. Think of yourself as an improviser, and notice in what
                                areas of life > you can feel your improvisation> 3. Develop your
                                capacity to zoom your attention in to individual > classroom
                                happenings, and to zoom your attention back to try to see, > feel and
                                sense everything that is happening in the classroom, visible > and
                                invisible. What different faculties do you need?> 4. Post your views
                                on the discussion list at > (TDSIG-subscribe@ yahoogroups. com). And I
                                will try to weave them into > the second of these articles> 5. Read
                                about the Open Space Technology session in Canterbury. See the >
                                workshop description on the flyer you received with this newsletter.
                                > Sign up if you possible can and let's meet there.> >
                                adrian.underhill@ > > > I describe my work as helping intelligence to
                                flow throughout a human > system by developing connectivity within
                                (eg) schools, classrooms, > staff-rooms, teams, etc and also by
                                developing leadership styles that > function well in complex
                                settings. I am series editor of Macmillan > Books for Teachers and
                                member of the advisory board for the development > of the Macmillan
                                English Dictionary. I have a post-graduate Diploma in > Group
                                Facilitation Styles and a Masters in Responsibility and Business >
                                Practice. I am a past-president of IATEFL, jazz guitarist and organic
                                > gardener.>
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                > Invite your mail contacts to join your friends list with Windows
                                Live Spaces. It's easy!
                                > http://spaces. live.com/ spacesapi. aspx?
                                wx_action=create& wx_url=/friends. aspx&mkt= en-us
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                              • duncanfoord
                                I asked some participants on our current Trinity Diploma (distance) course to respond to the article and here, with their permission are some of their
                                Message 15 of 18 , Feb 16, 2009
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                                  I asked some participants on our current Trinity Diploma (distance)
                                  course to respond to the article and here, with their permission are
                                  some of their comments:


                                  "Hmm, a spontaneous answer? Well, I am not really a spontaneous
                                  person - I have even been told that I think "too much" before I do
                                  anything.

                                  I think Adrian's article captured something that is true for most
                                  people; we bring our own preset ideas and experiences to situations
                                  and this can stop us from listening to the opinions of others and
                                  perhaps learning something or making changes for the better.

                                  Looking at this in a teaching context, it brings to mind a fairly
                                  recent incident in a lesson where I was teaching a group of 9 and 10
                                  year olds:

                                  I prepared a game where students had to guess what the animal was
                                  using yes/no questions, "Can it (fly?)/Does it have (wings)?".

                                  Once the game was underway, the students started asking a wider
                                  variety of questions, "Has it got (a beak)?/Does it live in
                                  (China)?/Does it eat (grass)?". Of course, this was great and I went
                                  with it.

                                  The event made me wonder how much I was limiting my students in
                                  lessons by underestimating what they could do. My lesson plan was
                                  based on my idea of what should be taught and assumptions about the
                                  language appropriate for that level of learners rather than the
                                  reality of the students' capabilities. Firstly, I realised that I
                                  needed to be more aware of what language the students already knew
                                  and not just what I wanted to teach. But then it also leads to the
                                  thought that perhaps lesson planning should be more open ended - a
                                  skeleton to provide the basic framework for the teacher to build on
                                  according to the moment by moment events in the classroom.

                                  While I certainly leave more room in my lesson plans now for
                                  accommodating unanticipated events, and I think that it is a useful
                                  skill to be able to pluck something out of the air to deal with the
                                  unexpected, I don't think I am quite ready for wholly improvised
                                  lessons. (Unfortunately, I am also the kind of person that would
                                  plan improvisations.)

                                  Just another thought, if our acts of spontaneity are always the
                                  best, why do the terms "acting on impulse/a whim" come with negative
                                  connoations?
                                • duncanfoord
                                  Another comment from a Diploma course member I find being disorganised rhymes with spontaneity. In a teaching situation, going with the flow has many
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Feb 16, 2009
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                                    Another comment from a Diploma course member

                                    "I find being disorganised rhymes with spontaneity. In a teaching
                                    situation, going with the flow has many benefits; learner and
                                    teacher enjoyment, immediate and meaningful attention to learner
                                    needs, real situations. It can also account for inconveniences, in
                                    my experience, not having what you want when you need it.

                                    I find acting on an impulse can go either way (positive or
                                    negative). Acting on a whim is more negative in my eyes and implies
                                    flightiness.

                                    After looking at the last three points that Mr Underhill asks us to
                                    think about, I realized that inexperience has hindered me from being
                                    spontaneous. Ironically, I think it takes experience to gain the
                                    confidence to trust the "spontaneous glance" where we are free
                                    from "handed-down frames of reference, memory choked with old facts
                                    and information". But then that means that I am not free from all of
                                    that.



                                    --- In TDSIG@yahoogroups.com, "duncanfoord" <duncan@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I asked some participants on our current Trinity Diploma
                                    (distance)
                                    > course to respond to the article and here, with their permission
                                    are
                                    > some of their comments:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > "Hmm, a spontaneous answer? Well, I am not really a spontaneous
                                    > person - I have even been told that I think "too much" before I do
                                    > anything.
                                    >
                                    > I think Adrian's article captured something that is true for most
                                    > people; we bring our own preset ideas and experiences to
                                    situations
                                    > and this can stop us from listening to the opinions of others and
                                    > perhaps learning something or making changes for the better.
                                    >
                                    > Looking at this in a teaching context, it brings to mind a fairly
                                    > recent incident in a lesson where I was teaching a group of 9 and
                                    10
                                    > year olds:
                                    >
                                    > I prepared a game where students had to guess what the animal was
                                    > using yes/no questions, "Can it (fly?)/Does it have (wings)?".
                                    >
                                    > Once the game was underway, the students started asking a wider
                                    > variety of questions, "Has it got (a beak)?/Does it live in
                                    > (China)?/Does it eat (grass)?". Of course, this was great and I
                                    went
                                    > with it.
                                    >
                                    > The event made me wonder how much I was limiting my students in
                                    > lessons by underestimating what they could do. My lesson plan was
                                    > based on my idea of what should be taught and assumptions about
                                    the
                                    > language appropriate for that level of learners rather than the
                                    > reality of the students' capabilities. Firstly, I realised that I
                                    > needed to be more aware of what language the students already knew
                                    > and not just what I wanted to teach. But then it also leads to the
                                    > thought that perhaps lesson planning should be more open ended - a
                                    > skeleton to provide the basic framework for the teacher to build
                                    on
                                    > according to the moment by moment events in the classroom.
                                    >
                                    > While I certainly leave more room in my lesson plans now for
                                    > accommodating unanticipated events, and I think that it is a
                                    useful
                                    > skill to be able to pluck something out of the air to deal with
                                    the
                                    > unexpected, I don't think I am quite ready for wholly improvised
                                    > lessons. (Unfortunately, I am also the kind of person that would
                                    > plan improvisations.)
                                    >
                                    > Just another thought, if our acts of spontaneity are always the
                                    > best, why do the terms "acting on impulse/a whim" come with
                                    negative
                                    > connoations?
                                    >
                                  • duncanfoord
                                    posted by Jat Teaching is also about learning - spontaneity keeps us in the now. That doesn t mean we have to dispense with what we have learnt, merely adapt
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Feb 18, 2009
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                                      posted by Jat

                                      Teaching is also about learning - spontaneity keeps us in the now.
                                      That doesn't mean we have to dispense with what we have learnt,
                                      merely adapt it to fit. We learn lines for a play but will often
                                      deliver them differently every night. Why? Because we don't act but
                                      react...to an ever-changing environment. Or 'To arrive at the
                                      beginning and to know the place again for the first time' to quote
                                      TS Eliot loosely.

                                      Having once planned a group lesson using Upp.Int.Market Leader, I
                                      asked a rather detached student: 'Happy?' 'Not really,' he replied.
                                      I instantly sensed that my planned lesson would be pointless and
                                      insensitive. So I wrote What is happiness? on the board. In this
                                      case, the discussion that followed was uplifting and thought-
                                      provoking. I got the students to disagree politely, delve into
                                      synonyms for happiness and speak like philosophers. They still
                                      remember that lesson because it connected with internal matter that
                                      matters. Lessons should matter.

                                      However, Humarios like me need to guard against anticipating or
                                      planting distractions that lead us friuitlessly away from learning.
                                      So it is OK so long as it doesn't become a irresponsible lesson plan
                                      for the entire week!

                                      I also find that teaching grammar that comes out of the moment seems
                                      to matter to the students more with a higher probability of
                                      retention.


                                      Jat
                                    • Charles Hadfield
                                      Jat - wonderful comment, I agree entirely. Thajnks for crystallizing what I ws trying to think how to write! Charlie Hadfield (NZ) From: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Feb 18, 2009
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                                        Jat – wonderful comment, I agree entirely. Thajnks for crystallizing what I ws trying to think how to write!

                                         

                                        Charlie Hadfield (NZ)

                                        From: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TDSIG@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of duncanfoord
                                        Sent: Thursday, 19 February 2009 5:19 a.m.
                                        To: TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [TDSIG] working with what comes

                                         


                                        posted by Jat

                                        Teaching is also about learning - spontaneity keeps us in the now.
                                        That doesn't mean we have to dispense with what we have learnt,
                                        merely adapt it to fit. We learn lines for a play but will often
                                        deliver them differently every night. Why? Because we don't act but
                                        react...to an ever-changing environment. Or 'To arrive at the
                                        beginning and to know the place again for the first time' to quote
                                        TS Eliot loosely.

                                        Having once planned a group lesson using Upp.Int.Market Leader, I
                                        asked a rather detached student: 'Happy?' 'Not really,' he replied.
                                        I instantly sensed that my planned lesson would be pointless and
                                        insensitive. So I wrote What is happiness? on the board. In this
                                        case, the discussion that followed was uplifting and thought-
                                        provoking. I got the students to disagree politely, delve into
                                        synonyms for happiness and speak like philosophers. They still
                                        remember that lesson because it connected with internal matter that
                                        matters. Lessons should matter.

                                        However, Humarios like me need to guard against anticipating or
                                        planting distractions that lead us friuitlessly away from learning.
                                        So it is OK so long as it doesn't become a irresponsible lesson plan
                                        for the entire week!

                                        I also find that teaching grammar that comes out of the moment seems
                                        to matter to the students more with a higher probability of
                                        retention.

                                        Jat


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