Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Park Wisdom

I was in a spa last week. One day, my son and I took a ride in one of those old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages. I took out my camera and aimed it at my son's face. I put it down, irritated. His face was too close and I couldn't make a nice picture. Soon after that the carriage started. I decided to make a video clip and upload it later. I raised my camera again. The carriage was shaking too much (really, those horses), so I put the camera down. I finally paid attention to what was going on. The name of the spa is Vrnjacka Banja and it is really beautiful, especially if you are in a carriage. I was beginning to feel like a princess from a fairy-tale. Then the driver took out his mobile and the magic was gone. I thought how interesting it would be to tweet this. But I didn't have enough money on my mobile account. The driver put down his mobile and broke into a song. He had a good singing voice. I was immediately transported back to the time I was 10 and sitting in a gondola in Venice. Naturally, I desperately wanted to tweet this. I checked my mobile account. No, definitely not enough money on it. So I finally gave up. I had no choice - I had to enjoy the ride, the beautiful spa and the fact that I was there with my son without tweeting, you-tubing or facebooking about it.

Ruled Red Notebook - Pocket

I like to write my blog posts sitting in cafes and parks. There is something romantic about pen and paper. I always use beautiful notebooks and I really love my little red Moleskine notebook. I always carry it with me, just in case. Also, I concentrate better if I am not on the Internet. Today I sat in a park, a large iced latte by my side.


I didn't write today. This wouldn't be so strange in itself, as there are a lot of situations when I don't write (you will notice that my last post was a month ago). You see, I wanted to write. I started this post yesterday and I hoped I could use my time in the park to finish it. Instead, I decided to sit there and focus. I watched the children playing, a young couple eating hamburgers, a girl sitting in the grass reading a book... Everything was so beautiful and so there. And I could have missed it as I so often do.

Don't worry. I am still an Internet addict and a notorious multitasker. I am not going to go to Tibet and start meditating. And I am not going to tell you to turn off your computer and get a life or to focus and live in the present. That is not the message I am trying to convey.

So, what is the message I am trying to convey? Your guess is as good as mine. It is obvious that I am enjoying my holiday and it is equally obvious that it is having a disastrous effect on my blogging style. I'd better put some TEFL in and quickly.

Most teachers are notorious multitaskers and they often lack focus. They say nonsensical things, wear shoes of different colour and walk into buckets of water. They write something on the board while listening to four groups of students at the same time while answering a question while worrying whether they are going to finish everything they planned to do...

What would happen if we just let go? Do you think the class would fall apart? Or would those four groups of students go on with their discussion, blissfully unaware of the fact that the teacher is not trying to control them any more? Maybe we could do what I did in the park today - observe our students, admire them, even learn from them. After all, are we really in control of their learning process?

Letting go would definitely be beneficial for us - we would be more relaxed and we might even never walk into another bucket of water as long as we live - but could it be beneficial for our students as well? Would they take more responsibility for their learning process? Let's face it: we do not make the Earth spin, we do not make the Sun go out every morning and, no matter how hard we try, we cannot learn instead of our students.

Technorati Tags:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...