Today:

  • First thing: Begin with the morning pages, then read our welcome and blog post below.
  • During the day: please look for the activities and readings as they are released and engage with the tasks in padlet, discourse, and away from the screens. Today, we will be releasing morning, afternoon and evening posts.
  • Join us for coffee break at 5pm UTC.
    Please feel free to come bearing something that has spoken to you today or shifted your perspective, or something you wish to challenge or offer an alternative perspective on. As always, we'll be engaging with
    conversation in Discourse and Padlet throughout the day.
  • Before you say goodnight: Look for our "Good Evening" post later today.

Mug and notebooks on bed
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash If you don't have an artfully chipped mug and linen sheets please know, you can still journal well. Ugly journaling is encouraged. 

As before, we would like to invite you to begin your day with your morning pages in your journal in a place that you feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable. At this point in the course, you might choose to write more freely, allowing yourself to pour out your thoughts and reflections on the ideas, practices and community we have been building together. Remember to keep your inner critic away from this process. They have their uses, but not right now. Please still consider writing or doodling about your intentions for today.


Pause here.

What do you need right now?

Can you act on it?


Intentions

Today we are exploring the assumptions and stories we have about education, teaching and learning, and how they shape everything we do. It is our intention to create a hospitable space today in which it feels safe to learn to see some of our assumptions, to challenge ourselves and each other with compassion. Some of the things we explore today will be familiar to you, others may introduce new perspectives, ways of being, or understanding. We hope, as ever, that you will have moments of feeling like a beginner (experiencing the beginners mindset) and moments of feeling like the expert, in which everything we discuss seems obvious to you. Please continue to notice your responses to the ideas we're engaging with, and any sensations in your body that may arise – this is data to help you understand your reactions.


Who are we, teaching?

To bring together the ideas of yesterday's topic, Being Human, with today's, we would like to ask you to take two adjacent sheets in your journal or notebook, a double page spread, and draw an outline of a person on each.

Photo – and drawing (!) – by Naomi de la Tour

On one side of the page, within the outline, write or draw the things that your institution or education system regards as being the qualities of a 'good teacher'. Outside the outline, write or draw the things that are regarded as the external signs or measures of a 'good teacher'.

On the opposite page, do the same, but for what you want for yourself as a teacher. What are the internal qualities you wish to cultivate within yourself for your teaching? Write them within the outline. How do you recognise when 'successful' teaching has happened, as you understand it? What do you need to make this happen?

Looking at these two pages side by side, what do you notice? What are the similarities? What are the differences? What response or sensations do you notice in yourself as you look at these depictions of a teacher?

We invite you to share these images here on Padlet.


Who are we teaching?

The assumptions we make of our students

It can be easy to think of those we teach as primarily students, to forget the complexity of their own humanity, their situations, and the diversity of their internal and external worlds, attributes and ways of being. This can shape the ways we think of planning our teaching and being in the classroom. Please watch the below advert for a Danish TV channel and, afterwards, journal or doodle your responses or any questions it raises for you about your students and your assumptions of who they are.


Who are we teaching?

We invite you to reflect on what your institution, society or you assumes of students. Is there an 'ideal student' in mind that underpins the assumptions that are made about who is learning in our classrooms, and how they are learning? What human beings do we assume we are teaching, in regards to the following categories?

What is missing from this list? Please add your own categories!

Please respond in your notebooks and/or on Discourse.


Mapping our assumptions and stories together

We would like to invite you to create a shared resource of alternative assumptions and stories.

In Padlet, please share assumptions you have within yourself, or that you can identify in education. Once you've done that, we can begin to engage with those assumptions in whatever way feels right, whether that's through our own stories that contradict or uphold the assumptions, by sharing resources or readings, or by reflecting together

Also in Padlet, we invite you to share some of the metaphors or stories of education you have encountered, and together we can respond to what we share to begin to work out alternative ways of using language to consider the meanings we develop together and the ways we're shaping our imaginations.

Finally, we invite you to write your own story of education. It can perhaps be a bedtime tale for a child you know, or a child you imagine. Perhaps it's to your younger self. If you wish, you can record yourself reading it, and share it here, in Padlet or you can share the written version in discourse.

~ Read next post in Day 3: Assumptions and Stories ~

Day 3: Assumptions and belonging

Posted by Naomi de la Tour

4 min read