War Room Process

I used to think that I wasn’t good enough. It just seemed as if there were so many more talented people around me and so when I tried to do something, like run or play basketball or get good grades, I wasn’t as good as them and so, being a child, I drew the conclusion that I wasn’t good enough. I was o.k. but there always seemed to be someone better.

On the off chance that any of our PLC members coming into the War Room next week are feeling this way as well, having drawn the same conclusions that I did growing up, I offer this advice:

Just try. Just do that. You see, there are no experts, as I have said repeatedly on this blog. There is just us, trying to get better at a somewhat obtuse process.

Next week when I demo all of the ideas that need to be shown, and when some of you try to do the same, we are all just going to be trying to get on the bike and keep it going, me in my way and you in yours, which will be different because no two people ride a bike in the same way.

People who have been riding for over a decade will have more finesse and speed than someone who has been riding a week. It’s like that. So come into the conference with a desire to not waste the opportunity of working in a safe environment, the War Room, with people we kind of already know from this site, and just do that.

There will be two big posters on the wall. One will list the activities we will be working on (CWB is first). The other, by far the most important one, will have these skills listed on it:

1. Circling
3. Staying in Bounds
4. Choral Responses
5. Point and Pause

Each person working on an activity will be asked to try to keep these things in mind and make these five skills visible when they are working. The teachers forming the “class” will try to not only learn the language but also try to recognize the skills in the teaching. Then we will all process that as a group with the teacher and then the next person will work.

A person who has been studying the process for a month will obviously consider it a major victory just to get some good Circling going on in what they are doing. People who have been on the bike longer (again I repeat, that’s all it is, it’s not about being good enough or being an expert*) will show more of the skills.

I will be working myself on #4. I suck at that one. In fact, not until a few years ago in Las Vegas when Von came up to me and told me I suck at it did I even know I sucked at it, because I had never even tried to ever work it into my teaching!

So we will all be working on something. We shouldn’t call it a conference, with people conferring. What good has that ever done?We should call it a workshop, with people working.

*if the experts were really experts, wouldn’t there be a lot more people doing this work around the world than the handful there are? More importantly, wouldn’t the method not be so grossly misrepresented? There’s just us, and we suck at it. Good, we said it. Now let’s get that our of our system and go to work.



8 thoughts on “War Room Process”

  1. Have an open mindset and embrace the work – the good, the bad, and the ugly – growth evolves from that place.

  2. Great! I am so glad that you put that out there, cuz I know I suck at a lot of this stuff but I have not been able to get better at it just by thinking, reading about it. Let’s get to work 🙂


  3. I agree. i do think though that watching other being coached is powerful too. I watched at Ntprs for 2years before i finally jumped in. I do think this group has an advantage b/c we have a head start in developing community/ trust. Those who are still a bit hesitant tp practice will benefit greatly from watching too.
    Really enjoying our time in the Rocky Mtn. State:-)

    1. I have noticed that teachers become very, very good at imitating the annoying behaviors of students in situations like this. Sounds like Ben has a plan ready.

  4. Hi! I just re-joined this group after a brief stint here a year or two ago – I loved it but didn’t have the time for it back then. I’d love to stay now that I’m back however. I have a question about tomorrow: is anyone arriving as late as I am (9:10 pm) who would like to share a taxi from the airport to the Marriott? Thank you if so!! Katya Burton 415 235 3203

  5. OK – I *have* to stop reading this blog now — until next month! I am SO upset that I am not going to be joining y’all in Denver or Chicago!!!!
    BEN….Please videotape your War Room – I *really* wanted to go to iFLT, just so I could attend your War Room and get some help!
    Have fun everyone – I miss you all and will be thinking about you! (SKIP and ANNEMARIE — bring back some more good tips!)

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