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Teaching a Fundamentals Class on Zoom 

I started a weekly RC fundamentals class on March 5 near Boston, Massachusetts, USA. We got off to a great start with eight new students, my assistant, and myself. The situation regarding COVID-19 rapidly evolved over the following few days, and it did not make sense for us to gather in person. In the time between the first and second class I learned how to use Zoom, had a Zoom session, and participated in a Zoom class.

I had to work on a lot of feelings about technology and not having the connection and feedback you get from physical contact. I also had to work on looking at myself while I spoke! I had many good sessions on internalized female and age oppression and my physical appearance! I have since learned I can hide my image of myself while others can still see me. But I’m thinking now that I might want to keep looking at myself and working on the feelings about my appearance so I can be completely delighted with my appearance.

I was unsure if I could teach the Zoom class. It seemed like it would be so difficult for people to feel connected and learn RC theory when not physically together. But also I did not want my fears and embarrassment about my looks to prevent me from teaching the class. I decided to try the class on Zoom. If it was a failure, I could postpone it until we could meet again in person.

The class was a great success! The students loved it. We all connected. We laughed a lot about someone’s cat climbing on her and taking up the screen. Then we were introduced to someone else’s dog. People were on their beds, in their pajamas, on the floor of their rooms, and so on. We got to see each other’s homes and beautiful faces!

We took a short break in the middle for people to stretch and take their eyes off the computer. It was challenging leading and managing the breakout rooms for mini-sessions, but several people offered to take over that function for future classes.

People took turns talking about their first sessions as counselor and client. Two people discharged on hard events that had happened during the week, and others sent them little messages on the chat feature while they were clienting, such as, “I’m with you,” and “Thank you for being so open and brave,” and “You are good.” I would never have thought of using the chat feature for that purpose, but it was a great way for the client to notice that everyone was paying attention to them and was really with them as they were discharging.

At the end of the class many of the students commented on how nice it was to be together, because they had been spending a lot of time alone. They felt connected to each other. I told them they may be the first Zoom graduating class in Boston!

I feel I am going to learn a lot about how to communicate caring and contradict isolation using remote communication. We are in a time now when it will be good for us to figure out every way possible to stay in good human communication.

Anne Greenwald

Brookline, Massachusetts, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion 
list for RC Community members

(Present Time 200, July 2020)

Last modified: 2021-01-27 20:39:38+00