Teaching as a Window

I want to share a little about how my first fundamentals class is going. I was terrified to begin with, but I did it anyway. I practiced my introductory lecture in front of a mirror three times and was pretty disappointed when only two people showed up at the lecture. Somehow, though, I ended up with thirteen wonderful, smart students, about seventy percent of whom are people of color.

I was still very scared in the early meetings. A turning point for me was when I decided to let the students counsel me. It seemed helpful for them to get a picture of where I struggled, and it was a relief for me to discharge. I often shake a little before I talk in class now. I still get scared, but I can notice how solid and together the class is.

Teaching has been a window into new places to discharge. First I discharged huge amounts around how scary it was getting close to people. Lately I have noticed that teaching gives me a picture of reality. It contradicts my old feelings of being ineffective because I so clearly make a difference in each of the class members' lives. It also has been useful in my work outside of RC. I led a (non-RC) meeting recently, lovingly paying attention to people as I would in class (without holding hands or hugging). It seemed like that's just what people wanted, and they were grateful to receive it. People came forward with appreciations after the meeting.

Paul has been a wonderful, solid teaching assistant throughout. Always supportive, always reminding me that things are going well (especially when I can't tell).

Harvey has discussed the benefits of putting one's attention away from distress. Teaching can be a good way of noticing benign reality and contradicting old distress.

Sue Yoshiwara
Albany, California, USA
reprinted from the newsletter
of the East Bay North, California, USA RC Community

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00