I'm struggling a bit with the style of the LM classes and how I bring content to life. When I teach BA 3000 or facilitate the LeaderShape curriculum, I bring the content to life by telling my own stories and that's the real skill in facilitating. In the LM, it seems like we let the students come to their own conclusions. I see them struggling with some of the activities and I want to call out obvious "Why do you think we do this?" and "How does this relate to the real world?" questions. I'm still figuring out if that's the style of the LM courses or just Brian's style.
February 2012 Archives
It occurred to me that my traditional teaching experience this far has conditioned me to over-prep students before assignments are due. In my head, that's because I want them to succeed in assignments and to not waste time in redoing. In the LM, the opposite assumption is true. We want them to "think they're done;" reflect on the process of the assignment; and then do it again with deeper context and reflection. It's a lesson on continual learning that I need to take heed of!
Last night was the first class where I really felt the myself struggle with case in point. We had the laptop cart in class for the first 30 min and half of the computers didn't work. That created some tension among students and especially for Brian. We introduced ChimeIn and students decided to use it to check for agreement about the attendance policy. No one really knew what the attendance policy was, but they unanimously voted that they agreed to it. Brian held the space beautifully for them to struggle and I was checked out in my role as instructor at that point because I knew that if I tried to jump in, I would taint the tone of the room and possibly undo the work that Brian had built.
Driving home, I was agitated, but thought about how this must be like what people new to LeaderShape feel and how we tell them to "trust the process." So, I'm challenging myself to trust the process of the LM.
I struggle when students come up after class and ask me specific questions about assignments. I don't know if I'm supposed to answer or let them figure it out. My style is to give direct information, but it's different from Brian's. I am learning how to teach in this new model and the bigger struggle is how to team teach a class. I feel like we need to have a retro about the first 3 weeks or an expectations conversation about my role, my need to prep for class, and my appropriate response to students' questions. I don't want to present as a junior instructor, but that's clearly how class is set up (a seed planted by Brent Opall.) How can the LM fix that? Does there need to be more energy into new instructor development or team dynamics? Maybe instead of so many observations, we first act as junior instructors or apprentices?