Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Two classrooms

I noticed something today while leaving class (I teach at the college on MWF). I was walking behind one of my students and I thought to myself: "He's really tall!"

Funny I didn't notice this before. Now that I think about it, though, I would guess that most of my students are bigger than I am. There is a football player, a basketball player, etc., and plenty of women athletes, softball players and such. Big midwestern 20-somethings!

Of course size doesn't matter in this classroom like it does in my other classroom, the dojang. But the fact that I really was unaware was interesting.

I think that lots of times in the classroom, I experience "flow" (see my recent post about the on-line article, The Ability to Flow in Combat).

I experience it because of the things that article lists: it's easy for me to focus (#1 on his list) on the topics we discuss--I LOVE talking about language, rhetoric, writing. I assume my students will like it as well (# 4 maintain a positive outlook.)

Also, I've had lots of practice (#6 on his list). I've been a studying this stuff for a LONG time, I've been teaching for 20 years, and besides, being a teacher means you're always learning new stuff, which gives you more practice.

Having that experience of fear and self-consciousness in TKD gave me a chance to once again think about students who experience fear in a college classroom: those quiet students who pull their baseball caps way down on their faces, never speak during discussion, and look totally lost. It's good for me to remember that feeling as it's been a long time since I've felt that way in a classroom.

Maybe there's some way I can help those students focus, keep positive outlooks, and practice. I certainly believe that those of us who do feel comfortable--wherever we are--should always remember those of us who do not.

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