Learning (and Teaching) – Forever a Work in Progress

Brain Sx for Beginners

When it comes to learning, there is always more to learn.

How cool is that?!

Recently I participated in a Plearn that ran from noon on a Saturday until 6pm. A “Play + Learn” event created and facilitated by Nia Teacher Trainer Winalee Zeeb. The focus of the Plearn was the new Nia routine “Fly”. I arrived with some knowledge of “Fly”.

I came away with a treasure trove.

First, I felt as though I would be able to walk into my class the following Monday morning and share the entire routine on a loose level. In addition, the pearls and word-images that Winalee shared with us peaked my curiosity to dive even more deeply into the multidimensional quality of each song.

The jewel in the crown of this experience was that the experience itself re-routed my habitual routine-learning process. In other words, while I could share “Fly” in it’s entirety (I had embodied the framework), there was something “off” about how I shared it. My students didn’t complain despite the fact that I felt as though an ocean existed between us.

I had “Fly” in my body, but I was having a difficult time figuring how to teach it effectively. I felt a bit like being a parent who has forgotten how it felt to be a kid.  I felt so comfortable coming out of the Plearn that I skipped right over the part where my students get to learn it too!

I love learning new material and more than anything I love sharing that new material with my students – this statement sums up why I teach (and to a large degree, why I breathe!). Having an experience that not only teaches me new material, but teaches me something about myself and specifically myself as a teacher – that’s priceless!

I was a strong Nia teacher before I went to Winalee’s Plearn. Now I’m stronger. When I came back from Lansing, Michigan and the Plearn I came back  a beginner with an emptiness where my process once existed. I had a hole that took me a few days to recognize and another day or so to begin to fill.

As with all beginnings, it is full of questions; of curiosity and humor. I find myself speaking less and sensing and feeling more. I am experimenting with fresh ways to share Nia.

Whether my students notice or not, I am a new teacher. After nearly 20 years of teaching people to move from point A to point B and 8 years teaching Nia, I feel awkward!

I feel awkward!

How wonderful is that?!?!

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