In school we learn to compete with our classmates, and this teaches us to be critical of one another. Students are not tested us on how they express love; instead, activities, assignments and assessments, pit students against each other for the gold stars and A’s”. Parker Palmer
A study of 30,000 graduates of American colleges on issues of employment, job engagement, and well-being, it all comes down to old-fashioned values and human connectedness. One of the report’s big takeaways: College graduates, whether they went to a hoity-toity private college or a midtier public, had double the chances of being engaged in their work and were three times as likely to be thriving in their well-being if they connected with a professor on the campus who stimulated them, cared about them, and encouraged their hopes and dreams.
Getting to know you
- Ground rules
- Icebreaker activity
- Secret Identity- On a “post-it” note, secretly write down the name of a well known TEACHER who best represents to you intellectual, emotional, and spiritual identity and integrity. Please choose a person that everyone in the room would know about
- Tape the name on the back of the person on their left.
- Everyone goes around and asks people ONE yes or no question about who is on their back. You can only ask each person one question. Go on to the next person
- The person who can do it in the least number of questions wins.
- Hello Activity. Workshop overview and objectives.
- The Art of Teaching Ken Robinson video (2:22) We can’t afford to get it wrong!
The most practical thing we can achieve in any kind of work is insight into what is happening inside us as we do it. The more familiar we are with our inner terrain, the more sure-footed our teaching–and living–becomes. If we want to develop the identity and integrity that good teaching requires, we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives–risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract. We must look at two of the most difficult truths about teaching.
The first truth is that what we teach will never “take” unless it connects with the inward, living core of our students’ lives, with our students’ inward teachers.
We can, and do, make education an exclusively outward enterprise, forcing students to memorize and repeat facts without ever appealing to their inner truth–and we get predictable results: many students never want to read a challenging book or think a creative thought once they get out of school. The kind of teaching that transforms people does not happen if the student’s inward teacher is ignored.
The second truth is even more daunting: we can speak to the teacher within our students only when we are on speaking terms with the teacher within ourselves.
The student who said that her bad teachers spoke like cartoon characters was describing teachers who have grown deaf to their Inner guide, who have so thoroughly separated inner truth from outer actions that they have lost touch with a sense of self. Deep speaks to deep, and when we have not sounded our own depths, we cannot sound the depths of our students’ lives.
- Turn to the person sitting next to you. Discuss and record your answers to this question: Taking into consideration the two most difficult truths about teaching, how you will answer this question: “When I am teaching at my best, I am like a _____________.” Explain how your simile provides insight into what is happening inside you as you teach.
- Record your answers here
- Share your answers with the other participants in the workshop.
- Mindlessness in Education (Jon Kabat-Zinn 7:31)
Mindfulness in Higher Education. “When we embody the sacredness of paying full attention- mindfulness, our lives are transformed knowing our creative power is simply being present.” Teaching strategies that allow students to challenge themselves to explore inner resources that provide true freedom and personal power is the essence of mindful learning.
- Why Meditate?
- Wouldn’t You Rather Be Meditating? Find time for stillness in your day to cleanse your mind and improve your ability to handle stress.
We might also ask, Wouldn’t you rather be peaceful, centered, and awake? Meditation is a time-honored practice for accessing a deeper state of pure awareness, beyond the noisy mental chatter that so often dominates our experience. Meditation is effortless, silently dissolving old conditioning and restoring our inherent state of balance and wellbeing. For thousands of years, people have used the mantra So Hum to contact the stillness that is the source of awareness. So Hum is an ancient Indian mantra that can be translated as I am. In the audio recording below, you will be guided in a simple meditation using the So Hum mantra.
The Blog Challenge
- The Blog Challenge Introduction
- Activity 1: Setup your blog
- UPDATE YOUR PROFILE
- Update your name.
- Change your password.
- Update your contact information.
- Activity 1: Setup your blog
- UPLOAD YOUR AVATAR
- Select a photo or create your avatar using an online tool.
- Resize your image to 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels high.
- Upload and crop the image
- Select your timezone
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR BLOG THEME
- Change your theme, header and background.
Break 1-minute energy booster
- Activity 2: Create & publish a post
- (15 minute timed activity) Create a blog post (Sensemaking Artifact) that describes how you can challenge your students, and yourself, to explore inner resources to get to the heart of mindfulness compassion and the essence of mindful learning.
- Write an attention grabbing title
- Insert a link
- Use short paragraphs
- Write the first sentence of each paragraph to make your readers want to read the rest of the paragraph.
- Comment on two other learner’s blog posts by analyzing OR asking a question that proposes answers.
- Your comment takes something from the artifact and analyzes it. It might make a constructive criticism, an observation, an interpretation, or draw a conclusion.
- Your comment is a question that proposes answers. The good question asks “why” and “how” and demonstrates you have thought about the question. Answers are proposed and asked for feedback.