Thursday, January 11, 2007

A blinding flash of inspiration in the middle of an INSET

It wasn't anything to do with the subject of the INSET itself. Here's what happened. The facilitator wanted us to do an active listening exercise; we would pair off, and then each speak for two minutes on any subject we wanted, while the other person listened to us. They would then feed back to us everything we had said.

However, the moment the slide went up on the screen, this is what went through my head..., could talk about blogging, no, ridiculous idea; could talk about role play gaming, no, he'll think I'm crazy; how about my new car? No, dull; My Mum? Too personal. My outfit? Just silly...

I was paralysed - it was utterly ludicrous! Then I suddenly realised that this is what happens to my students when I ask one of them for a random suggestion or contribution. I frequently pepper my explanations with demands such as, 'Let's imagine you are downloading a song by.... OK, someone name a pop group!' or 'Right, so you've got a database of names and addresses. Someone give me an imaginary name for a person in the database'. Invariably no-one says anything; and I then rant about how they have no imagination, how they are not paying attention and so on and so forth.

But they must be sitting there thinking
'Can't say Oasis cos I'll look stupid. Can't say Snow Patrol cos no-one will have heard of them. Can't say anything Goth cos Bob will laugh at me... can't... can't....

Anyway, I turned to my partner and spent two minutes explaining this insight.

1 comment:

Stu Savory said...

And what was his/her response?