Feelin’ It

O.K. this blog entry may wig a few people out. If it starts to make no sense, just stop reading. I think you may have to be a little on the crazy side for it to make sense. It makes sense to me, though, but then I’m a little on the crazy side. So here goes:
Maybe one reason that comprehensible input is hard to grasp by many teachers as an actual way of teaching is that it is so based in the body, in the cells of the body, and yet people think it is just another method that can be learned using cognition, thinking. It is not purely a mental activity. We didn’t acquire our first languages by thinking about them. We experienced them. We felt them. And, before the big ones got to us, we danced them.
Therefore, when we teach, especially when we repeat structures, building the CI, there is also a physical component to that. A kind of feeling. We go, with our bodies, through the process of repetitive questioning, but we feel it as well as think it. We  put the questioning into our body, as per the rhythmic, body based, questioning below (words are not necessary in this example because I am trying to convey the FEEL – not the thinkin’ part – of repetitive questioning/circling):
Class, da da da da da da da da! (ohhh)
Class, da da da da da da da da? (yes)
Correct, class, da da da da da da da da. (ohh!)
Class, Da di da di da di da di? (no)
Correct, class, Da da da da da da da da! (ohh!)
Class, da di da di da di da di or Da da da da da da da da? (da da da da da da da da)
Very good, class, you are very intelligent, da da da da da da da da (ohhh!)
Class, Da doh da doh da doh da doh? (no)
Correct, class, No da doh da doh da doh da doh. Da da da da da da da da! (ohhh!)
Class, WHO da da da da da da da da? etc.
So, this is not so much asking questions but dancing questions. Smiling for questions. Letting your closeted kinesthetic teacher move around a little, conveying joy. Joy of sound. Making questions not just questions, but, rather, genuine ways to find out really neat stuff about really neat people. Things that bring greater bonding with those we are talking with. Dancing that leads to narrower emotional distances with our students. It’s time for us to get into our bodies again as teachers, one might say. Like that. Just dancing sound. Finding out something from some kid and taking it and dancing with it over to the corner and clutching it like a squirrel after the kid gives it to us and just being amazed that what they offered up into the discussion could be true. Taking that cute answer and chewing on it and circling it and running back and offering it back to the kid and asking for more cute answers, more details, in exchange for the earlier ones. Just collecting from them more and more revealing details, details that before much time has gone by have created a stage in the minds of all, with actors and props and all sorts of things. Entering into the shared experience together. Laughing at the sounds being made. The natural humor of life. Like that. Really listening to the stuff they give you. They are a giving tree. It’s not teaching. It’s much more than that. It’s something more. You know that you are doing it when you go to bed after a long day of asking questions and fishing for details and you feel happy. It’s crazy. Feeling happy because of your work. Yup! That’s crazy.



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