Receive is one of those words I have to think about before I write it. You know, “i before e, except after c.” (Really, I have to do this every time.) But after doing Yoga (pretty much for the first time) the other day, it took on a whole new meaning. Our TIC summer book group which is reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert spent the morning experiencing India as we had a private yoga session with Jeanne Russell of Portsmouth Center for Yoga and the Arts and then enjoyed a lunch at Kittery Estates.
One thing Jeanne kept coming back to was the idea of receiving. After we came out of a move she gave us a moment to pause saying, “…and we receive…,” at which time I would close my eyes and feel my body tingle amidst my surroundings. I had a sense of accomplishment. My whole body was happy to have been cared for, stretched and noticed. Jeanne went on to say that she likes to give people the opportunity to receive their movements so that they are not moving and rushing right into the next move. This truly resonated with me.
In my whirlwind of a life I need to learn to pause and receive. I have been experimenting with this for the last few days: after a workout, at church, after playing with my kids, after getting off Twitter, after finishing a meal, and I have to say, there is something to it!
So, of course, I now must relate this to education since all that we do relates to our wonderful profession of learning and teaching.
At my school, our motto is Respect, Responsibility and Reflection. The last word is something that many teachers could work on in their classrooms. I know I can! Each year I set out with great intentions to have my students reflect on all the great learning they do throughout the day: in journals, with each other, in writing prompts, blogging, letter writing, talking out, share time, etc. But the fact is that this rarely happens on a day to day basis. So, I think we can at least do it on Friday afternoons to reflect on our week. But then some activity happens, they run late in another class or we simply run out of time. Ugh!
But this idea of receiving is different. Receiving is a form of reflection and it takes, seriously, 10 seconds. Imagine giving your students a moment to pause and think to themselves about what they accomplished during an activity, what they did while out at recess or collecting themselves after lunch. Putting the word receive into their reflection vocabulary could be very powerful and practical. It has been for me. I don’t need a journal to do it or another person or any object for that matter. All I need is a moment to take one or two deep breaths. And as I make this type of reflection something tangible my own life, then I can make it real for my students.
Maybe I’m cookoo, maybe I’m idealistic, maybe I’m having a hippie-flower-love moment, but allowing the opportunity for my students to receive their actions throughout the day as they work and play and learn is something I’m going to make a point to do this coming year.
What do you think of this idea of “receiving?”