Sunday, December 10, 2017

Redefining and Living Words in the Classroom

Although I regularly get up in the morning and pick a word a word to express for that day, I have yet to expand my living-word vocabulary beyond 5 or six words. Let’s see, there’s joyful, joyfully interacting, excitedly engaged, interested and maybe one or two that just aren’t coming to me at this moment. Or perhaps it’s just four words and in looking at these words, I notice they’re pretty closely related, meaning there’s not much difference in how I actually live these words, i.e., their definitions are all grouped within my idea of joyful expression.

There is also the word, care, which I guess I have in word and deed embodied as a part of me or signature of who I am, how I relate to others, wherein it’s no longer required for me to constantly remind myself be caring. I have become that word and I am and I really thankful that I chose this word as my first word to embrace, understand and live as a doing in relation to people, animals that things.

So I guess it’s now time to expand my living word vocabulary. The only problem is, I’m not really an expert at redefining and living words. Furthermore, I’m not even that  motivated to do so. My solution (considering the position I’m filling in the world system), if you’re not really sure about how something works and you want to motivate yourself to be better at it, why not teach it others and learn it together? Thus begins my journey to teach while I learn, specifying myself while expanding my living-word vocabulary for the purpose of seeing, realizing and understanding my potential.

As I’ve said to myself many times before, I’m not here to redesign the wheel. It’s already been done and if there is a better design to be created, there are others out there who are probably in a better position to do so. Or maybe I will come up with some suggestions on how to streamline the process. Either way, I’m thankful there are already solutions, examples and lessons on redefining and living words which are available on the internet at SOUL, the School Of Ultimate Living on Facebook, Youtube and a soon to be created Homepage on the Web. Now, it’s simply a matter of deciding how to proceed in the classroom, introducing the process, teaching and learning while I teach. This where some experimentation comes in.

In the first week’s lesson (two weeks ago), “How do we create ourselves and our reality?” I talked about how we create ourselves and our reality as the words we think, speak and write. Then we watched the first twenty-five minutes of Introduction to the School of Ultimate Living. Then in the second hour of class, we all wrote blogs on the topic of What is the meaning of Life and What is my Purpose? Originally, I had only planned to do this with three of my classes. However, since students seemed more interested than usual (lol), I ended up expanding the lesson to six different classes during the week.

In the second week, last week I decided to present students with some scientific background in relation to the importance of words. Even though the Bible says, in the beginning was the word and the word was god (or something like that) and the Koran says in the beginning was the word and the word was creation (or something like that), I still felt that it was useful/important for me to also present students with a scientific basis for going into this topic. Thus for the second week of lessons, I explained my interpretation of the discovery that Russian scientists have made in relation to words and DNA. Then we read some of an article titled, Scientists Prove DNA Can Be Reprogrammed by Words and Frequencies. After discussing the article, I asked students to do the following:
In pairs:
  1. Choose one word that you would like to be more a part of your living. For example, if you often find yourself getting impatient with others, perhaps you could choose the word, patience. Or if you often find yourself feeling disinterested, you might choose the word interested or engaged.
  2. Use your smartphones to define the words and then add sentences to the definitions to fit into your life, friends, relations, etc.
  3. Note! Be as specific as possible in describing how you plan to live these words.
  4. Share your results in groups and with the class

Next week, I plan on watching another SOUL video. I’m not sure yet which one I’ll use; however, in consideration of attention spans, I’ll probably choose one that is not more than around sixteen minutes. Then after discussing the video, we will write blogs expanding on the words we’ve chosen. Specifically, in the introduction or first paragraph, we will look at and explain how we often experiences ourselves other than how we would like to be and then how each we would prefer to experience ourselves. Then in the next one or two paragraphs, I will ask the students to present their redefined word or words and specify how they plan to live and express that in relation to others for a whole week starting with sounding that word when they wake up each day.  

Interestingly, even though very few of my students bring laptop computers to class, we still hardly ever use any paper. These days, instead of opposing the smartphone in the classroom, I embrace it as a useful tool (but not for playing video games in the classroom, lol) and students seem to enjoy writing so much more when they’re holding onto their smart phones.

So this is my plan so far for introducing students to redefining and living words as a way not only to create themselves, but also to practice English and become better writers in the process. Overall, I would say it’s a win win situation/process for all involved. Plus, whenever students write and post blogs in the classroom, I also write and post as an example.

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