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April 9, 2017: If Only

The world would be a better place if the existent information about the cognitive aspects of the learning process was passed on to everyone. And it would be a better place if more research was done in this area. Today’s Bones for Life class got me to thinking hard about this. I had a really hard time with the teaching portion – I was assigned a complicated chapter, one that is long and wordy. It was translated from the Hebrew, so it had glitches in it. I had to work with a group of three, one of which was bored teenager and another a woman who over analyzed things.

I didn’t have much time to prepare. We were told which lessons we’d each be working on last night. I knew that required preparation would involve first doing the lesson on my own and then putting the manual wording into my own words. In other words, I needed to internalize the information both mentally and physically. I had not previously given much thought to physical internalization; however, it is a key component in coming to an overall understanding of body awareness techniques.

Now, if the given information about learning in relation to cognition was common knowledge, say, on the part of the instructor I might not have had such a tough time getting the required information across to my students. But I had a very hard time. I got rattled, and when I get rattled I think about bolting. But I stayed put and stuck it out. After, I was the teacherly example of what not to do. I didn’t handle it well.

It's good that what happened, happened in a class, learning-related session and not in an actual teaching situation. Well, if it happens again, I’ll have a better idea as to how to deal. I’ll ask my students to take a moment and rest and I’ll think about how I might rephrase things differently.

If today was the last day of my formal training I’d be somewhat concerned, especially after what happened earlier. But it was not. Shari (our instructor) announced to us at the beginning of class that we have two more training sessions and one more teacher training session and a mentorship program to do before we’re certified. This is good because I’ll be even more adept at teaching when the time comes.

I sometimes wish the Tai Chi class had had a teaching component. Yoga, too. This stuff is not impossible to learn.

Up until now my focus has been on how I’ll do as a teacher. But as I realized during the course of the day, there are going to be benefits for me in relation to my own physical well-being. For instance, tonight I was out in the pen, cleaning up. It’s break-up and the buried poop is now surfacing. We got home at 9 p.m., and the pen was of course a mess. I immediately got down to work because I’m leaving town tomorrow and I didn’t want to leave Pete with a lot of work to do.

I was blown away by how my hips felt. I had more range of motion. I felt grounded. And I felt like I could keep working. If I had not gone to class and done some of the exercises, I would have quit sooner.

So I’m going to take my manuals with me back east and start teaching people informally. I will of course do the exercises beforehand, and make notes prior to the sessions. Work, yes, but good work. Back to taking things one step at a time; no pun intended.

Next: 100. 4/10/17: Getting Ready

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