What is it like to be teaching at a time when younger generations are influenced by the popular culture, in particular by tendencies such as, alt-right phenomenon?
What impact does the culture of productivity and pressure to perform (internalized capitalism) have on us educators? How do systemic and macro-level factors affect our teaching and affect all of the above?
What is the impact of the individualized culture on us? How do we feel about collective care?
How does emotional labour associated with teaching (a task/profession that is exhausting although satisfying) weigh down on us?
How do educators deal with the feeling of isolation given that teaching is a pretty individualized profession?
How do we deal with the intersection of our life (and its emotions) outside of school with what happens in the classroom, and the feelings that arise there? Is there a space for our feelings in the school?
How can we create spaces where teachers can support each other, share concrete material but also be in solidarity with each other?
How can we create spaces where we can feel more connected with our values, our needs as well as with like-minded people.
What are the strategies to nurture and ressource ourselves collectively so the social justice works we do can continue without us feeling burned out/taking time away/leaving the profession?
Safe(r) Spaces are created to make spaces accessible to everyone in various ways – this includes creating spaces where we can have emotionally charged conversations. We start with a general understanding that it’s OK to feel and express emotions. Another objective is to facilitate building of empathy and mutual understanding among participants.
These spaces are created by laying down a set of basic guidelines that can increase our levels of self-awareness, as well as comfort and ease with the people with whom we are sharing intimate thoughts and issues, and sometimes matters in which we strongly believe. While the facilitators bring forth some basic elements of safer space practices, the space is open for participants to contribute additional practices to make the space safer for sharing delicate and emotionally charged matters.
A post by Solomon Krueger of Flowland. Reposted with permission .
Navigating overwhelming emotions
It’s been an intense and emotionally turbulent couple of weeks for many people, including myself.
Here are some insights and tools that may help to navigate through difficult moments of feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
Change your plans and expectations for your day. Can you modify or postpone some of the things on your agenda? Can you delegate some of your tasks and responsibilities? Can you give yourself some free and unscheduled time in your day? Creating space in your day wherever possible is a good place to start. It can help to calm the mind and nervous system. And, you can have time to process your feelings and attend to what you may need.
Create a space to be fully present with your experience. Whether you have an hour or just 5 minutes, gift yourself a set amount of time to check-in with your body. Start by turning off your devices and find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Then, either sit or stand, and do a body scan. Observe how your body is in this moment. Agitated? Shortness of breath? Sore muscles? Numbness? Bring curiosity to the qualities of your emotional and physical experience. Notice the subtle changes or movements in your body.
From Self to Collective: Finding Care in a ‘Burnout Culture’
Friday April 27th (3pm, in the 8b Lounge at New School)
In this workshop we will create a space for care, comfort and confidence for teachers to discuss the pressures to be productive and efficient at all times. In addition to workload and classroom management, masking of anxieties, putting aside personal lives among others are part of a teacher’s “toolkit”.
It is not surprising then that burnout stories about teachers are frequent and those who manage to stay afloat often hang by a thread. Many refer to this as a “burnout culture” where burnout is not a matter of if but when. This begs the questions: given how isolating the teaching experience is, what spaces and occasions do we have to support each other, emotionally or otherwise; how can we extend “same boat” solidarity to each other and collectivize the pressures in order to promote healthy and sustainable teaching community? In this workshop we will collectively reflect on practices of care, both self and collective, spend some time doing exercises related to (w)holistic well-being as well as brainstorm ideas for support and action.
Group Dynamics: Bracketing and Safe(r) Spaces
Monday April 23rd (1pm, in the 8b Lounge at New School)
Nicola Morry and Rushdia Mehreen, both Humanities facilitators at Dawson College’s New School, will co-facilitate a discussion on the need for safe(r) spaces and strategies for creating them in the classroom without shutting down discussion of more controversial or sensitive topics. Rushdia will discuss practical strategies of creating safe(r) space, and share a pamphlet that was partially adopted by her “Is Free Speech Fair Speech?” class that she is facilitating this semester. The pamphlet also draws on Rushdia’s experience in facilitating emotionally charged conversations with the Politics & Care group. Nicola will complement these practical strategies with a discussion on bracketing: “temporarily setting aside one’s own preconceptions or beliefs – is an essential step in the academic study of religion as it allows one to approach religions on their own terms even while retaining one’s own faith commitment.” (Smith, 1999, pp. 60) While the term ‘bracketing’ will be most familiar to scholars of Religious Studies, Nicola will suggest its applicability in all CEGEP classrooms. Lire la suite →
Over the course of 2017, members of Politics & Care have played various care roles during the planning, filming and post-production of the anarchist, queer, science-fiction film, Hron: A country of ghosts.
Our involvement was multifaceted, including:
facilitation of a discussion circle for self and collective care for the organizers in view of the outdoor intensive filming session in the rural Quebec location;
recruiting, training and coordinating care team leading up to and during the filming of the project;
facilitate a debrief after the filming to process emotional and physical fatigue and such.
Our collaboration with other community organizations and groups in Montreal over the last few years has been in specific areas of collective care. Examples include: facilitation of debriefs (e.g., marche pour la terre mère, after a long and involving project); collective care discussion circle for grassroots groups with a focus on internal dynamics (e.g., climate justice montreal); coaching for and being present at the collective care discussions within an organization.
Off late way too many of us have been fighting the racist murders, hate speech and the rise of the racist right in Quebec. The racist and xenophobic Bill 62 and the cancellation in effect of the consultation on the systemic discrimination and racism by the Quebec government are signs as to how the state is not taking action about the rise of the right and in fact giving in to their pressures and demands.