Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 101- Living "Vacation"

This is part of the series Living Words.

For more reference check out Day 13- The Beauty Vacation

I have been very picky about my experiences for "vacations". I think that so far there has been 3 vacation that I have truly planned myself because it only involved me and not other people. And this was more of a retreat vacation than a commercial vacation.
The difference between retreat vacation is going somewhere where the you meet people from different places that join for the same purpose- in my case it was obtain classes for a yoga certification and participated in a few yoga retreats.  A commercial vacation is going to a distance like a resort, cruise where you don't know the natives and you are considered a 100% tourist. And there is actually one other type of vacation- where you visit a friend, relative and you stay with them or near them and they are able to be your guide in a place you are unfamiliar with so you are 50% tourist- especially if that is the county you were born in.
Anyways- I've experienced the three type of vacations and I must say that my preferences have been towards are the retreat vacation or the friend/family one because one can have a better connection with people. Every time I am at a commercial vacation- it's like scratching the surface, and instead of connecting with people or a common purpose (other than escaping your regular days) it really does not feel like a vacation by rather a site seeing for a fraction of a moment- like taking a kodak moment and not really emerging or creating a connection. It is rather dull.

So why do we take vacations/escapes? To change our daily routines, to escape our troubles, to supposedly relax.

So here I want to transcend the word vacation from a starting point of escaping to a starting point of an opportunity to see/explore/learn something new that can enrich my life. I also want to be more active in participating in arranging/picking/suggesting places to visit and within that presenting opportunities/explorations for enriching oneself/myself.

Here are some ways to sound out the word vacation:

vacate ( to leave a place one previously occupied)
vacation sounds like vaccination
vac (as in vaccines) ate (as eat)
vac (as in vaccines) nation (as in different countries)

Redefinition: Vacation- a destination away from my home with the opportunity to see/explore/learn/enjoy something new that can enrich my life.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day 100- Living "Conflict"

This is part of the series of Living Words.

A cool hangout to listen to is "Avoiding Conflict"  on the Self and Living Youtube Channel.

This is part of the series Living Words.

My experience with conflict has been to avoid it because it creates an uncomfortable feeling within me, like I am being attacked, taking it personal, making me feel unconfident/fearful within myself because I am not able to communicate, and most of all not trust worthy because for a conflict to arise it means that the other person is not believing me, or is using tactics to bring me down.
Thus I will rather avoid conflict than to enter conflict. I have realized that neither of the two options is assisting (to look for conflict or to avoid conflict) as they are polarities. However we live in a world of conflict simply because we do not understand our minds, emotions/feelings. So it is a process like any other word, situation- thus I don't want to live the word conflict as a reaction which is how I have been living it so far. But I want to be able to face any conflict that may come my way and be a point of a diffusion for the conflict.

To be a point of diffusion of course it takes self trust, stability, confidence and most importantly not playing the game of the conflict through reacting. Thus turning the conflict into a discussion and not an argument.  The best way to not react is to understand where the other person is coming from within their conflict, it is to understand my own way of thinking of where I am coming from, it is to not take things personal but rather explore the physical facts of the situation that is causing the conflict and practice seeing things from a multidimensional perspective.

Some ways to sound out the word conflict:

con (as per dictionary- to persuade someone to do something typically by use of deception)
flick (per urban dictionary- a movie)

conflict- deceiving someone into your movie

Redefinition: Conflict- a point/stance of disagreement with someone or something that is looked at in a form of a discussion leading towards a resolution.

Day 99- Living "Confidence"

This is part of the series Living Words.

So far I've been living the word confidence as a feeling. A feeling of security that I am able to do something, feel comfortable that I know how to do something, feeling comfortable in what I wear. It is as if I need to approve of myself in reflection of the approval of others. That is why I say “I feel confident”, instead of “I am confident”.
The approval of others implies that what/how/why I do something is seen as “normal”, “acceptable”. So within the opposite polarity of confidence- would be feeling unconfident (embarrassed, withdrawn, uncertain of myself).

I want to live confidence as a self expression/movement. That means building/applying confidence through self trust, self certainly that no matter what the situation I can direct myself without having to feel confident or unconfident, but BE confident/direct myself, be stable. It means seeing through my self reflection of what works and what does not work within physical reality/practicality, and always looking at things multidimensional because they are in fact so.
At the end to be confidence really has to do with self-trust and stability.

Some ways to sound out confidence/confident:
confined (as in restricted) dense (as in heavy)
confide (trust) dance (as in movement)

Redefinition: Confidence- the certain presence of one's being/the movement of self expression through self trust in relation to others and the physical environment.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day 98- Living "Teacher"

This is part of the series Living Words.

The second word I will be looking at is "teacher". I am not going to go into too much detail regarding my history (at least not at this moment) so to keep it short this is my second year teaching in a pre-k classroom. I can reflect back from my first year and see changes that I have made as well as aspects that are still the same and aspects that I would like to change about myself in relation to being a teacher.
The main point I am opening right now in regards to being a teacher is the relationship between teachers and students throughout the school day. I think that teachers often (especially new teachers) find themselves in a position of authority as they are responsible for managing the classroom as well as delivering lessons and how a lesson is presented to the students. I would say that I have become aware of the relationship between managing, lessons and presentation and how lack of keeping these three aspects as a teacher effectively working together can create a state of authority over the children as an outflow. Because at the end of the day as a teacher I have to have thought a lesson and managed a classroom in "good" behavior". Of course it is not all black and white as to everything there are multiple dimensions of looking and dissecting things but there is always a base, starting point.

So when I recently applied for a position in a school there was a question I had to answer in my application. The first time I filled out this question which was 2 years ago when I was applying for a school district (applications for school districts vary but have similar questions) my answer was very mechanical because I did not know how to respond to it other than the obvious things that are expected out of a teacher. There was no a touch of myself within my answer. So this time around I reflected on myself as a teacher and what I have learned from the students, my behavior and their behavior and wrote a different response. As first I had a resistance because within me I knew I had to change my starting point of what I saw as a teacher to who I want to express myself as a teacher.

Question: "Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher"

My Answer: "An outstanding teacher stands as an example for the students. She/He is able to connect to each child in the classroom, to build a safe and respectful relationship with each student, to understand their needs, to recognize their achievements, to provide students with opportunities for self development and self responsibility, to provide materials that engage students in learning, to make learning fun. She/He allows students to have a voice within the classroom through guidance and respect."

So when writing about the word teacher and how I want to live it/be it/express it I can see a little "flame" within me waiting to grow and expand.
I see me in a classroom with that I have set up to be functional in regards to being a child as if I was the child and what would I like my classroom environment to have. So when bringing in materials or setting up dramatic play, writing center and so on, I for a moment want to place myself in the shoes of the students who will be interacting with the classroom environment and make sure that I will enjoy it, that I will be creating my play. Because I can recall the games my brother and I played when we were little and how we created our own playful environment with the toys we had.
As a teacher I see myself carrying out a lesson that is interactive, that makes "me as a child" want to participate, to get creative, to expand what I already know and incorporate what I am learning now. And within that play/interactive lesson there is a sense of satisfaction on both ends- the teacher and the student and there is no need for "disciplining"/ "forcing".
I want to solve problems that arise between students with teach them to understand themselves and the other and within that building the ability to problem solve independently.
I don't want to teach with fear tactics, times outs and punishments. I want my students to understand consequence so that they make the choice not to do something that was not safe or disrespectful. I want my students to know that they can always come and talk to me and that we will be able to discuss solutions and even those moments can be teachable.
This year I have put a lot of effort on how I carry out my lesson plans. I know I can do better of course if I expanded my resources and ideas but that is why it is a reflective learning process. I have also placed a lot of effort on how I approach students when there is a behavioral problem. I am reflecting on my reactions, their reactions and I am seeing of ways that will cause the least stress on myself and the students and still be able to look for a solution to the problem. I have began talking more to them, pulling them to the side one on one, or sometimes within a group talk. I am experiment currently with this method. And it may not always work of course as it will take time to be established and I am not the only teacher they have throughout the day time.

Some ways to sound out the word teacher:
tea-share (as in sitting down having tea and enjoying our time)
te-acher (as in hurting, being in pain)
te-chair (as in sitting in the chair)

Redefinition: Teacher- a person who is here standing as an example/role model to show others how to be effective within the world and physical reality by presenting information and showing how it is practically applied.