My thoughts on a workshop for early grade teachers and the potential they have to alter the beliefs and behavior of their students:
My experiences have taught me that there are absolute conditions that must exist if participants of workshops are to benefit. What follows will list and describe these essential conditions. I may also share a story or two experienced during workshops I have given. Let’s see what we shall see.
Being Present: How important a beginning? Without being present where is the student? People might be anywhere in their mind, but not the workshop room. This is where they must be physically, mentally and emotionally. If not, all is wasted regardless of its potential value to them.
For many, not being present is a learned response to unpleasant and even terrifying experiences. Early on children learn to emotionally run and disappear. They learn how not to be present. It could be parents arguing and screaming, or even being physical. Being helpless to intervene, mental and emotional escape is easy to grab hold of and use and may become their chosen way of dealing with events out of their control or threatening.
Mental and emotional escape or not being present and in the “now” is damaging to ones psychic and physical being. The scar tissue runs deep because it usually begins very early in a child’s life and continues to do damage to the person throughout their life. Being present as long as safety is assured is like walking on very thin ice so not being present is kept close by for those that feel the need to escape.
Since my need to have all participants as fully present as possible, I begin each new workshop with the importance of “being present” as an opening discussion. If necessary, I might introduce a fun activity that is almost assured to bring the value of being present to everyone even those few who are rarely present.
What follows in the next paper is the story of a super process I’ve used where necessary. It’s a winner. I know this because when used people have taken it home with them. Sy