Standing in line Thursday for lunch, one of the e-Personnel turned to me and questioned, “Zac, when will you be giving a workshop on how to have your energy?”
I get a little excited.
The energy of learning is infectious. Feeling, seeing and hearing ideas whip around in discussion or writing or pictures or music or any other mode can make me a bit manic.
That said, I didn’t have an answer for her.
As we were standing to say our formal goodbyes as a team, Friday, I referenced her question.
“I’m not sure how to teach people to be energetic,” I said, “I think it’s genetic.”
My people are kitchen dancers. I remember the radio pumped up when I was a little kid and my mom and I dancing through dinner prep. I’ll argue lasagna tastes better if you’ve got a little wiggle in your booty whilst you’re layering on the pasta.
Now, my classroom’s my test kitchen.
It’s not uncommon for me to stand on a chair to get noticed above the self-orchestrated din. I’ll dance badly when the spirit moves me. Why not sing once in a while?
I do these things when I’m working with learners young and old alike. Silly is good. Silly makes the tough stuff easier. If we’ve laughed together, we’re bonded for when the problems arise.
Getting that message across when people are teaching for their lives – when they’re scared of mistakes and terrified of looking like they don’t know what they’re doing – can prove incredibly difficult.
I’m talking about the e-Personnel we were working with as well as much too many educators in other settings around the world.
When everything’s buttoned down and deviation from the plan is frowned upon, kitchen dancing seems an impossible answer.
The energy comes from having faith in my ability to try again and do it better.
That’s a privilege.
Working with people who are hanging on every cent they can get to improve learning for their children forces the question of whether I’d have the energy were I in their place.
I’d like to think so.
I’d like to think the love of learning, of ideas, would transcend.