27 June 2008
A Whole New Mind
I have always known that my mind works different than rest of the people around me.
I have trained my brain to look at things in a different way, to give objects a second and third purpose and to experiment with all my senses.
Also I am constantly looking at "the bigger picture" of things, looking at the main ideas, the main concepts and the deeper meaning of things. I continue this approach in my personal life as well.
My approach to teaching has always been "Feel then teach". Improvisation is on the menu of the day. I firmly believe everything can be in taught in a fun and creative way. You can act it out, you can write a story and perform it, you can sing it, dance it, draw it and then do it all over again.
I know my "free style" approach to do things had some people raising their eyebrows. It is not easy to keep up with me. And I am speaking from my own experience. I am fortunate enough to say I have many passions in my life. There is never, ever a dull moment during my day Life is too short to not live it with all your heart.
I have never been able to understand fellow teachers who year after year used the same lesson plans, worksheets, same routines, even the same words!
In Today's school culture, this approach of teaching is still highly celebrated; fortunately, there is hope for the rest of us. That's what Daniel Pink suggest in his latest book: "A whole new mind". I had not other reaction but to agree with him. Things are moving for us, people who are dominated by their right brain hemisphere.
How I learned about this book? well, this was the most recommended book at my "Poetry, Pen and performance Literacy workshop" led by Nile Stanley, PhD during my teacher's workshop at The University of North Florida (UNF).
When I left the workshop that day I felt an urge to get some of the books on the list of resources provided to us rigth away. It turned out that the only book I bought, was Daniel's book.
Onece again, I follow my instincts and as a result, I've been taking about this book ever since.
"A whole New Mind" has lifted a great weight off my shoulders. It has given me the courage to pursuit my different passions and never feel I should apologize for the way I think and act in my professional and personal life. I say I have not finished reading the book yet?
When I started writing this blog, I knew I would be facing some challenges. For starters, I had to invest a great deal of time in writing and editing my postings due to the fact that English is not my mother tongue, and as a result I need to invest extra effort to write my lines. This "extra work load" is nothing new to me, you see, English is my third language and I had to learn this thinking-speaking-writing process 4x ( I speak Spanish, English, Hebrew, French and now Italian.) In other words, I am not scare to learn and to live a foreign language.
The second obstacle I knew I could face, was a little more challenging and it had to do with the human element. As every new inexperience blogger, I starting sharing my blog with every
animated soul that crossed my way, even with some people who can not see beyond the paper's ink.
But, are you supposed to find this type of people working at school? Wrong! Every organization has this specific type of individuals that kindly offer, great encouraging comments such as "how can you even dare to write a blog in English" or something like: "your command of the language is so limited and your writing is poor". In my 23 years of teaching experience, trust me, I have heard it all.
The challenges became real and I did exactly the opposite of what you are expected to do in a situation like this: I took a moment of self reflection (that lasted only 30 seconds) and I announced that I will continue expressing my views and ideas in writing, or in in a blog, because no one has the right to stop creativity.
Besides, Practice makes perfect?Isn't it?
After all "It's easier asking for forgiveness than asking for permission".