When teaching, I often think about the physical aspect of how teachers and learners begin the experience. From the very moment students enter the space there are overt and subtle messages about how this experience will unfold. This is also true with online learning as well. The instructor defines many aspects of the learning space; the learning space is inclusive or not, accessible or not.
My interest in somatic intelligence and awareness and its relationship to learning has led me to Wendy and Tiphani Palmer’s work. I’m currently reading Leadership Embodiment: How the Way We Sit and Stand Can Change the Way We Think and Speak, written by Wendy Palmer and Janet Crawford. This book was recommended to me by a colleague when we were talking about teaching and learning and physical movement and space in the classroom.
For the past six months I’ve been working with an autism spectrum English language learner who has told me several times that my “strong energy” when we’re working together is stressful for him. I believe the strong energy he is referring to may be related to anxiety or stress that alerts his own sensitivity. In my personal and professional life I am almost constantly juggling different roles and projects; I am determined to learn and understand more about how becoming more physically aware might help me to be a more effective teacher, learner, instructional designer and even parent.
How do you think about physical presence and space when you’re teaching?
If you asked your students about the physical energy that you’re emote, what do you imagine you’d learn?