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Re : [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes

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  • Ranivoarisoa Aimée Virginie
    Dear ccolleagues, Hi ! Thank you all for sharing your views and experiments with me and I am very sorry for my email box hasn’t been working properly these
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2009
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      Dear ccolleagues,

      Hi !

      Thank you all for sharing your views and experiments with me and I am very sorry for my email box hasn’t been working properly these days or months!

      It’s very relieving for me to know from you the importance of spontaneity. I often happen to recur to spontaneity and it makes my teaching more human, closer to the reality of the moment and thus easily closer to the students (even if I have brought something from home). Here, most of the specialist teachers( coming from teaching professional and academic school) use a set of rules to follow and very often use and repeat the same text or contents .In my opinion, teaching is a dynamic process of helping learners to be able to learn independently . The teacher is not a bringer of knowledge to be learnt by heart but a helper .So , preparation is a sort of reminder of the objective of the lesson but can’t contain the whole!

      Always thankful for your sharing and wish the biggest courage in this wonderful job!

      Virginie.




      De : duncanfoord <duncan@...>
      À : TDSIG@yahoogroups.com
      Envoyé le : Samedi, 31 Janvier 2009, 17h32mn 07s
      Objet : [TDSIG] Re: working with what comes

      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.
      > >
      >


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