I went for almost a month to Africa recently. Visited a school. The 6 form (middle school) kids offered me a seat at their table. “What got you here?” they asked. I wanted to see it. See what? Africa. This is your first time in Africa? I nodded. Mouths opened all around me. (a pause) A thoughtful head rises. What planet are you from?
Teachers’ Workbook: Move away from the computer and take a walk now. Breathe consciously. Let awareness seep through your body. Change attention points. Viewing angles. Let bird sounds in, et al. And after you come back in or just before you come back in, reintroduce words.
Certain facilitator verbal and emotive presentations help students tune in to something specific. It could be learning to relax or a guided fantasy about future or past events, or lots of other kinds of prepped offerings to stimulate, encourage or give permission for.
Consider how often whole layers of individual perception make a difference in how something is understood. I read somewhere that 70% of all thoughts may be the perception of an individual being while 30% is awareness of actual changes in the world around. Sometimes…”We don’t see things as they really are; we see things as we are.”*
I had a camp director who was fond of saying: People of good will can come to consensus or at least learn to tolerate or even enjoy difference and, once that happens, other things come alive as well. A learning Community is formed.
One powerful process is some form of what Pete Seeger knew: that something happens when folks sing together. There are countless variations but here’s one worth trying. The group huddles like football players and someone starts with a held note. Others join in with their own notes. Maintain this for a while and listen to what happens to the sound.
It bears repetition. America has divas; in Africa it is the group that sings.
* Anais Nin