During the first module I usually show a film that features Bonnie Bernard who shares her studies about fostering resiliency factors in youth. The film is impactful for teachers because it emphasizes the effect that teachers have on young people as they grow into independent and productive human beings. It is a really good film, and, I find that it provides inspiration for the participants as we embark on this 24 hour training together.
Recently I lost my DVD of the film so I’ve been using my video version. St. Alban’s VCR, where my session was being held, was not working! Instead of panicking, I decided to invite the entire class up to my house to watch the video. I live a half of a block away from St. Alban’s. I suggested that the participants grab their lunches or go to the nearest Loblaws to purchase their lunch, and meet at my house to watch the film together.
The bonding of this group happened almost immediately. By the end of lunch that day, all 20 participants were comfortable with each other. Exchanging emails and telephone numbers they were arranging carpools and sharing lunches. Undoubtedly, the inclusion stage with this group happened organically and naturally.
Comments like “Wow! This is the first time I have ever taken a course and been invited to the instructor’s house!” or “Hey, this is just like going on a field trip!”
Calamities like this, and working our way out of them together brings the learning alive. Learning is only worth happening if it’s relevant outside the walls of the classroom. And certainly, whatever happens in our Tribes sessions also happens in all of our classrooms in one way or another.
Last week’s group was a joy. It reinforces my ideas that everything happens for a reason. Someone (I think it was my friend Penny) taught me that learning is fundamental. First you have the fun. Then you have da mental!