Updated: 30 Nov 12
On the week before Thanksgiving the two Bethlehem Lutheran pilot dream seminars came to the end of their scheduled tenure. Members of Group A asked to continue in order to keep continuity, which I was pleased to accept. In response to my request for their experiences of the seminar, the two ladies below are the ones who had the snake dreams at the beginning.
On November 25, Sue K of Group B wrote:
Dreams tell us so much about ourselves, especially those things that are not in our immediate consciousness. Yet, it is hard to determine what we are "hearing" in them. CREEI is a good starting place. This processes helps to focus on the content of the dreams, and identify the characters that can speak to us. Combining this with deep listening allows us to explore the various possibilities regarding the message contained within the dreams. It allowed me to discover many inner strengths that I possess but did not previously acknowledge. I learned to trust my intuition, and to accept the challenges presented to me in a straightforward and brave manner. I see those challenges as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Understanding my dreams helps me to make the most of the opportunities by understanding what I truly bring to a situation.Earlier, Kate T of Seminar Group A wrote:
Okay - so I have been having these recurring dreams about snakes (yuck!) and a deeply wise person at our church is conducting a workshop on Dreams and how to analyze them as a spiritual practice. AND you all know how "woo-woo" I am... So I have put myself in the way of this workshop.
What my analysis is showing me is that these snakes in my dreams are my friends, and they are telling me to write - that I am doing all sorts of things to avoid what I fear most, which is putting my thoughts out there. I am knitting, making pottery, campaign work, building a labyrinth at our church, visiting family, exercising, & having fun w/my husband and friends. The thing is, I don't want to stop any of those things....
It woke me up in the middle of the night, so I decided to get up and write rather than try to go back to sleep or read. So, it's 3:36 a.m., and I've just finished my first essay...
This led to the above mentioned essay, which could only have been written by an experienced, dedicated teacher. Kate calls it:
The New World Order
Teachers know something about life that people who don’t teach, don’t know. We call it that “ah-ha” moment, for want of a better vocabulary term. The “ah-ha” moments make this world progress in such a sacred way.
At the beginning of the school year, a teacher is facing all new faces for the first time. Throughout that sea of unfamiliarity, this teacher knows that many of these children will “get” the content & processes presented to them with seeming ease and success. Some of them will engage and catch on at a higher level, almost defining the nature of the content and processes. Teachers use the answers and responses of these students to model the concept or process as “best practice.” Some of the students will struggle and perform all sorts of passive aggressive tricks to avoid learning and growing, almost saying, “I dare you to teach me...” At the beginning of each school year, no teacher can be sure of where any of these young people will fall - s/he just knows that s/he is responsible for filling their toolkit with the tools that will move each child forward in knowledge and ability within the teacher’s subject area. Students must leave her classroom knowing what these tools are, how to use them, and what they can build with them. At the most successful, these students will be able to create something original with these tools.
The true art and craft of teaching lies in the intuitive work of struggling with a student so that s/he can perform successfully on highly challenging tasks, without the help of the teacher. That is the true nature of self-esteem. In rare cases, that means celebrating when a student is able to put his name on his paper without help. In most cases, it is that moment when a teacher sees the light come on in the face of a child - no matter what the age. Or the student asks a very penetrating question, which demonstrates that s/he is really connected to the flow of thinking required to master the content/process.
Or the student performs work that demonstrates another way of looking at the content/process. This means that the student has to understand at such a deep level, that s/he is able to take the information and change it to create something new and better or just different.
Teachers learn tricks, patterns, strategies, questioning techniques, and tools that prod this mind-blowing brain work. They learn how to tell when a child is ready for more or needs more repetition to “get it.” They learn how to present the information in so many different ways that all students, with variant learning styles, are engaged - that something clicks in their minds that breaks the ice jam of thinking and allows the thoughts to flow freely. Teachers know when to stop and let the information sink in - when to weave in visual or metaphoric strategies - when to use other subjects to help students learn the new information. An English teacher can teach the Concept of Compound by using science and mathematics applications of equations: balancing them on either side and making sure that the expression is equal on each side. And that English teacher knows when a child is not ready for the math, science, or language information about the Concept of Compound. That teacher then knows how to take it apart and reteach, so that the student “gets it” in English, Science, and Math - she probably spends 5-6 six of her lunch “hours” meeting with this student, eating sandwiches & Oreos while asking probing questions that move that student forward.
That one student - that one child who is willing to put forth the effort to “come for lunch,” will suddenly throw his sandwich down on the desk, jump up and shout, “ I've got it!” He’ll go to the board and work a problem or attack a sentence structure or write an original piece of thinking to demonstrate the new learning - the teacher and student will both laugh - and shout - and say things like, “whew!” and “I thought I’d never get it.” and , “I always knew you could do it - I did - I knew it...” The feeling filling their hearts that day is so satisfying - it’s just not like any other good thing this world has to offer. It’s what teachers know that people who don’t teach, don’t know.
It’s why teachers, who never earn a bonus or are ever paid for all the hours they work, are not paid for their lunch hours or their after school tutoring or their late night grading, are willing to keep on facing new students every August after spending $500-$1000 of their own money to prepare their classrooms for these new people. They know the secret of the New World Order - teaching someone to do something is more powerful than doing it for them or doing it themselves. They know it is hard work, not babysitting. The true act of good teaching is an art and a craft, not a job. It is a Profession because all those who teach well, Profess their ability and joy in their art and craft.
Our Present World Order pays people huge amounts of money for singing songs, playing sports, knowing how to put numbers in the right place to make the profit line grow, or solve scientific problems necessary for human progress. It pays money to individuals who are “experts,” or “talents,” or “geniuses.”
To be continued...
In the New World Order, a teacher would be paid a huge amount of money for the ability to move this world forward by teaching someone to write a song, play a sport, put numbers in the right places, or create new discoveries. It’s one thing to be great at something - it’s a New World Order skill to be able to teach these tools to someone else. I can’t imagine a world without people who are so willing to give of their minds, hearts, and spirits to the youth of this country. I can’t imagine a World Order: New or Present, without these people we name as Teacher.