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Susan Dorfman's picture

What sticks, stays

What will stick with me is the ongoing discussion of the interaction of the conscious and unconscious brain and the importance for teachers to recognize and utilize that knowledge in the classroom. Both at this current Institute and the one I attended in 2006, Paul guided the groups through the realization of the importance of the flow of inputs and outputs internally in each student and externally among students and their teacher. There was much gain for me in observing and engaging with the diverse teaching styles of Paul, Wil, participant volunteers, and guests. Even though I observe teachers and candidates for teaching positions as part of my responsibilities at Baldwin School, the circumstances are different from those scaffolded by Paul. There was great meaning for me in the co-constructive dialogue of our group as we worked our way through analysis of the presentations. I will return to the classroom and my Institution with enhanced skills in guiding interactive dialogue among my students and among my colleagues. and teacher. There was much gain for me in observing and engaging with the diverse teaching styles of Paul, Wil, participant volunteers, and guests. Even though I observe teachers and candidates for position

Presently, I am staying with my son and daughter-in-law in Texas to help them organize a new home with their 8-week old daughter and gain time as my daughter-in-law begins medical school and my son transfers his graduate work in anthropology from SMU to Texas A and M.  The opportunity to spend continuous time with my sweet granddaughter has presented a wonderful experience for observing the unconscious at work. Ever vigilant of her internal environment and new external experiences, her unconscious reveals its stories in her facial expressions, tone of voice, and movements of her arms and legs. Her joy and distress are obvious to my unconscious, and my experienced conscious has a library of reactions from which to choose. The experience of being with my granddaughter is extraordinary but even more so because of the Institute. My communications with her are enhanced. Babies fall into REM sleep quickly. Her dreams appear to be recreations of each set of experiences as she smiles, coos, frowns, and cries a bit while sleeping. My son says in jest that her nightmares are about someone taking her milk. There is logic to what he says. Even more than that, she appears to be reliving all that occurred as she builds her stories of the reality she is experiencing. I reviewed the article in Scientific American about babies and thought about Jessica's presentation on how babies think. Thank you to Paul, Wil, the interns, and fellow pre-college teachers for sharing in a magnificent 3-weeks of interactive dialogue. I learned so much from all of you.

By the way, I am getting more relaxed about Sudoku. Over the course of the 3-weeks, I started completing more puzzles, went from completing one in 45 minutes to completing one in 15 minutes. Armed with a book of puzzles given to me by Joyce, I am choosing to do 1 or 2 puzzles each evening for relaxation. I can see the patterns, thanks to Paul. I worked with this skill and feel the progress. I can't help but think of a few of my students who can't work on one concept at a time. They may struggle with several concepts. I need to think more about how to give them the help, encouragement and confidence to keep trying. I need to slow down their environment while still moving ahead for those students quicker at seeing the patterns. 



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