edu180atl: bob ryshke 8.31.11
This past month, I have felt rushed in my work. My inner dialogue, in rare quiet moments, goes something like this, “I need to become more disciplined about organizing my work life, making to-do lists and prioritizing my projects, and then everything will get better.” While becoming more organized might help or finding new strategies to filter out the distractions might facilitate completing all the projects, I know the internal struggle to align my day-to-day life with what I know to be true will be challenging.
So this morning I was thinking about how important it is to build space for reflection. I have been reading, An Artist’s Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living, by Julia Cameron. By adopting her practice of Morning Pages, three pages of daily longhand stream of consciousness written first thing in the morning, I have started to build a space for reflection. This reflective time allows me to center myself and “see” what’s on my mind. She writes about how the free-writing process gives the person “a window into our soul.” It works for me, especially as a way to sort through background noise in my life. Also, I find my creative sensitivities are heightened because I am learning to relinquish control as I become more comfortable with free writing.
Thinking about schooling, how can we structure reflective time for students so they can sort through their noise, bringing greater meaning to their experiences? Is more free writing a vehicle to achieve this end?
About the Author: Bob Ryshke (@centerteach) directs a center devoted to faculty professional development. Family nourishes him and swimming helps him focus.