Friday, 20 May 2016

Relationships - putting it all on the line!

The bigger context: Our teacher meetings have been focussed around Absolum's Clarity in the Classroom, looking in particular at Learner Focussed Relationships (v Controlling v Caring v Activity Focussed). 

The context in question: Assembly technical rehearsal where the technology was not going quite according to plan.

I been thinking quite a bit about relationships with learners lately, and what type of Absolum's four teacher personalities I identify with. I have been noticing things and reflecting on them throughout the last couple of weeks and trying to make small adaptions to the way I talk and behave along the way. 

But yesterday, the words that came out of my mouth startled me and I went to bed feeling quite sick about the potential damage I could have done to the established learner focussed relationship I already had with those children. (The fortunate thing is that I think I have established that enough for my comment to be somewhat dismissed... I hope).

It is no excuse, but I was under stress at that particular point, with things not going exactly how I planned and my mind primarily focussed on two things. The children waiting were "in my space" and I asked them to move back to where the audience would be. They did so. But they did not go where I expected them to. Was this a problem? In the big picture no. In my head, at that point in time - yes. Then came a mumbo jumbo condescending mish mash of confusing questions that related only a little to our habitat focus of 'thinking'. Any observers would have thought I was barmy!

It goes to show though how pressure can effect a situation, and change your perspective and behaviour almost instantaneously. I'm certainly much more aware of that side of it now, after reading Clarity in the Classroom. 

I also have made a connection to the work we have done around HBDI and how elements of our thinking style can change under pressure. It would be interesting to do more work on how teaching style changes under different kinds of pressure. My prediction is that short, intense pressure (like a tech glitch) would result in controlling behaviours, but ongoing stress would result in either investing too much in a caring relationship as avoidance, or activity-focussed to "buy" some time.

Avoiding pressure is impossible, but I will be challenging myself (and hopefully you will be too), to notice what changes in your style when under pressure?

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