Who was the best writing teacher you ever had? What did they do to inspire you and get your thoughts onto the page?
A classroom community can elevate your thoughts, synchronize ideas, and produce profound writing. As educators, we have to work hard to NOT interject what we think. The best teachers are facilitators.
Does holding class outdoors make nature the true facilitator? Yes. If you are a teacher, leave the desks inside, grab some clipboards, unplug and write.
If you are not a teacher, leave the office at least once a day. I know you are busy, but nature has a way of making us more productive. City parks count as nature, so no excuses. If you find this to NOT be the case, I'll buy you a cup of coffee.
SIT: The Air in the Outdoor Classroom
The majestical poet and professor Marie Howe took 100 of us outside at the Omega Institute all week to write poetry. Go and observe. Listen. So we did. She created a space for all of us to feel free to explore and learn the lessons in the air (and sometimes rain!) around us. This is one to try at home.
1) Go outside with your journal. Find a place to sit. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. 2) As you breathe in, think of the word "Air." 3) As you breathe out, repeat the word "Air" to yourself. Notice how you feel. When you feel ready (after several minutes) stop repeating the word to yourself. 3) Keep your eyes closed and breathe. 4) When you ready, open your eyes and slowly pick up your journal.
WRITE: Air it Out
In your journal, write all your thoughts and feelings from your outdoor experience. What did the air feel like? What phrases did you hear in your head? What did you learn?
MOVE: Planking Over the Path
Mindfulness activities help us to stay calm under pressures and challenges. There is a simple exercise you can do anywhere at any time, The Plank!
Hold the top of a push up for 10 seconds to 10 minutes. Okay, maybe 10 minutes is too much to ask. How about 3 breaths a few times a day? Make sure to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. You can do this pose at your desk too, but then you would not have everyone's favorite mindfulness coach to cheer you on.
Thank you for exploring new ways to teach and learn with me!
See you next week, Stef
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