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Always Learning

The Spring Term is starting! It’s hard to believe I have only three terms left before I’ll be finished and graduating. And moving home!!

At this point it’s a little bittersweet. I’ve met wonderful people here who have daily been my support system (or at least contributed to my sanity). I will certainly miss them! And I will miss being steeped in this Alexander Technique work daily. It’s much harder to maintain this new way of functioning without a teacher’s prompts—I guess it’s really time to focus on building my personal practice!

I’m not sure what happened to the Winter Term. We worked on ways to teach using moves in a chair, read F. M. Alexander’s second book Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, and revisited a Breath and Voice course that I took more than a year ago. Because difficulty singing was what first brought me to the Technique, I elected to spend concentrated time applying the work to my own voice rather than just reviewing familiar material. WOW! Though I have seen vocal improvement after all the general work of the last couple years, my specific work has made a definite difference. There’s still a loooong way to go, so I guess I have some of my work cut out for me in the Spring Term.

This winter also brought recovered sensation in my right leg that I never thought would return. Learning how to balance on feet and ankles with increased sensation and muscles in my calves that actually stretch has been pretty mind-blowing! I wonder every day how it will all work and what new things there are to discover.

But first . . . a business class, a deep dive into the ethics of touch, some study of the brain, and another book to read about first-generation AT teachers. There are so many excellent examples of teaching, and I love learning from their personal interpretation of Alexander's words and work. My practice students remind me that learning styles don’t always match the Alexander Technique’s teaching style. Though most people learn well by absorbing experiences (and AT makes huge changes through the kinesthetic system), this technique also requires a great deal of thought, so it's been helpful to have a few visual aids and maybe a reminder to take home. And so much repetition is needed! I forget how long it took me to understand what now seems such an integrated part of my life.

These wonderful students are patiently teaching me how to be a better teacher! I’m making good use of both my education degrees and classroom experience. Connecting the art of teaching to this new material is both challenging and rewarding, and I am grateful and humbled to be part of their journeys!

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