Today was a necessary wake-up as we worked with the youngest students. We had a few of the children from yesterday, but most went to the older 4-6 class upstairs. This was my day to observe so I wasn't teaching until the end, when there was a left over block of time. I didn't want to sent them home early and I stepped in to do a review. These are young children and they needed supervision and to be kept on task. We had several boys who were rambunctious and mischievous, which resulted in a lot of poking and prodding and more than a few attempts at "pantsing" (two successful). I thought about intervening but since we were filming and no one was in danger of dying, I considered it best to let things run so Sarah and Kerry could review their own performances. I know I am going to use all my experience as a teacher to control the action in the room, and I am going to have to maintain a confident and authoritative demeanor with them.
Nin and Glow are here practicing the introduce yourself in English game.
I am sure most professions have some required level of awareness and call for adaptability, but I wonder how they stack up to teaching on a given day. I have been thinking much of the concept of awareness and flow in the Buddhist readings I have been doing, and I wonder if anyone has written a Zen and the Art of Teaching manual yet. I am reminded of when I first moved from Riley to RDHS and suddenly had twenty-six, 17 and 18 year olds in front of me for 80 minutes at a stretch. Each group has its own subtle and not so subtle rules of conduct and each has its own ideal "flow". Tomorrow I teach a lesson on left and right as well as reviewing all that we have learned so far. When you begin to think of transferring even such a simple concept as this, it begins to stretch outwards towards complexity fairly quickly. Speaking of Zen Masters, here are my new $3 pants which instantly moved me further up on the enlightenment chain!