“When there are no words…”
A professional development opportunity for teachers and trainers.
I am very proud and pleased to be taking part in the TDSIG (Teacher Development Special Interest Group) Web Carnival on the 28 January 2017, 10pm Tokyo time (so that will be midnight here in Australia).
This festival is aimed at exploring what happens in classrooms, seminar rooms… anywhere where teaching takes place.
In particular, this festival is looking at what happens when things go wrong in the classroom. It asks people to share the awkward moments that arise while training, and the resultant insights.
In my training and facilitating practice, my current areas of focus are creativity and workplace culture. The latter can be especially tricky to talk about; people tend to go on the defensive if they feel they and their behaviours are being called into question. An especial challenge I find as a trainer, facilitator, mentor and events curator is guiding discussions through (over? under? around?) those awkward moments when people are talking about things that feel a bit nebulous to them or, conversely and in very tangible ways, threatening.
Some of my most hard won but treasured development as a facilitator and trainer came from a time in my life when I was training in the community adult learning sector and working with a diverse range of people, some of whom were grappling with challenging circumstances or histories. Occasionally our interactions would career way off the beaten conversational track and I would find myself trying to find the right words for a situation for which I had never seen a script.
Even though I am now working with very different people and in different contexts these past experiences are still proving to be invaluable. In asking people to delve deep into their imaginations and feelings alongside their intellects I sometimes challenge them (I’m not called Dangerous Meredith for nothing!) and as a trainer I have to be very careful of the parameters I set and atmosphere I allow to develop.
For more information on this festival, please go here.