Why is academic teaching and learning so focused on always doing something?
You pose great questions. I’m not sure why we are always focused on always doing something. I just thought of that today as I was teaching my participants about the how to avoid plagiarism by using direct or indirect speech. I felt compelled to bounce from one activity to the other. Finally when I realized how fast I was pacing through the lesson I stopped for a bit, sighed, and said, “Sorry about that. I’ll slow down.” I got a few relieved chuckles from the crowd. Maybe I was subliminally summoning a do-nothing moment.
Josette, I love the idea that do-nothing moments can be summoned. We need to find a way, maybe a chant of some kind to summon these moments consciously :) Do you feel that your regular reflective blogging (reflecting-on-action) is supporting your ability to reflect-in-action?
And to that I answer,
While I was having one of these moments of wanting to do something, I chose to step back, and wait. At that moment, I was reflecting-in-action (see Donald Schon). I made the conscious choice not to intervene on my participants’ essay drafting time. To help me pause and reflect, I sat down, took out my pen and journal, and wrote this:
As I sit here and watch them write, I struggle with wanting to let them write and also wanting to help them. I want to read what they’ve written so far. I want to give them the words they are struggling to find. I want to tell them that their best is enough.
I knew this was a blog/learning moment, and that is why I chose to reflect instead of act. My participants didn’t need me hovering over them as they wrote. They needed time with their thoughts and their process. Thanks to my reflective skills, and Kevin’s contemplation, I summoned up a do-nothing moment, and there was peace of mind for all.