Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)

Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby Shanlight » Tue May 12, 2015 7:20 pm

Hi, I have a question in relation to staying 'conscious' whilst doing my job as a highschool substitute teacher.

My job consists of teaching a different class everyday, I do not know the students I am teaching. I can be dealing with extremely challenging behaviour issues, such as defiance of instructions, rude, disrespectful and aggressive attitudes. I understand being present in the now, and 'watching' my thoughts, emotions and reactions to students when they present these behaviours towards me. I believe I am ok with these things, and doing them well. What I'm finding difficult is that I have to be a 'role of authority' as these student have class work and tasks they need to complete during the lesson. I believe my approach towards students is friendly, clear, calm and fair (it can be as simple as asking not swinging on a chair) However, these students will not listen an be defiant and argue with me. What is the best way to stay 'conscious' but still have a level of authority in the classroom with regards to students to refuse to follow my instruction as a teacher?

Any suggestions and help would be amazing. I've found Ekhart Tolle videos on parenting, however, it talks about giving 'space' to the child and watch the behavior. This may not really work for my job as if I am giving an instruction to a student with regard to beahviour, and they are defiant and disrespectful, I can't simply just give them 'space'.

Any suggestions or advice would be so helpful! As I am finding myself very lost at the moment and reverting back to my ego mind judging me for being a bad teacher. I am also questioning leaving the profession as a teacher.
Shanlight
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 6:51 pm

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby DavidB » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:58 am

I've never been a school teacher, so don't really know the challenges involved, but I thought 'nonviolent communication' by Marshall Rosenberg (who died this year btw) might be useful to you.

https://youtu.be/XBGlF7-MPFI

https://youtu.be/48U61Z9HRqg

https://www.cnvc.org/
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:45 pm

> What is the best way to stay 'conscious' but still have a level of authority in the classroom with regards to students to refuse to follow my instruction as a teacher?

I teach at the college level. The guiding image I use is a conductor and an orchestra. I present it to students in the first class like this:

Our goal, as a group of 30 people, is to make music. To do that the contract states that I, the conductor, conduct ... and you, the musicians, perform your parts. There's nothing personal or judgmental about it, not as if I/conductor/teacher is better or more powerful than you/musicians/students. It's just our jobs, as laid out in the contract.

This helps me be authoritative and disciplinary when necessary, because I keep the goal in mind: making music. It's not ME doing something to THEM, it's the conductor doing his job, leading an orchestra so that it doesn't devolve into chaos.

That said, the hardest job I ever had was teaching junior-high school kids. By the end of the day I felt utterly exhausted, in body and spirit. So I sympathize! :-)

P.S. There are times when attempting to stay fully conscious/present is ill-advised imo. When you're in the flow of teaching, for example, all of your brain energy needs to be devoted to the task at hand: conducting a buncha unruly musicians. There's no mental juice left for an added-on activity like the practice of pure presence. In fact, it can be a flow killer. (Try becoming fully aware of the present moment when you're watching a movie. It'll take you right out of the experience!) I fought with this for years, until I let go and gave in to the energy of the moment.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby DavidB » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:29 pm

I agree rach, there are times when the task becomes encompassing, demands your entire focus and attention, and in those moments attempting to be present, and not thinking, is counter productive to the task.

I suggest that in these moments, the task, or the work, becomes in a sense, your meditation, your purpose. If you're chopping wood, then chop wood, if fetching water, then fetching water.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:25 pm

DavidB wrote:I agree rach, there are times when the task becomes encompassing, demands your entire focus and attention, and in those moments attempting to be present, and not thinking, is counter productive to the task.

I suggest that in these moments, the task, or the work, becomes in a sense, your meditation, your purpose. If you're chopping wood, then chop wood, if fetching water, then fetching water.

Yep. :-)

We consider Krishnamurti to be a master of awareness. In one of my favorite quotes from him, he said that trying to remain aware all the time was "a dreadful idea!" Just be aware for a minute or even a second ... and "see the whole universe."
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby DavidB » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:03 pm

rachMiel wrote:Yep. :-)

We consider Krishnamurti to be a master of awareness. In one of my favorite quotes from him, he said that trying to remain aware all the time was "a dreadful idea!" Just be aware for a minute or even a second ... and "see the whole universe."


Haha, a dreadful idea indeed. Sound advice. Attempting to be aware all of the time would be exhausting, and also unnecessary.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby rachMiel » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:23 pm

DavidB wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Yep. :-)

We consider Krishnamurti to be a master of awareness. In one of my favorite quotes from him, he said that trying to remain aware all the time was "a dreadful idea!" Just be aware for a minute or even a second ... and "see the whole universe."


Haha, a dreadful idea indeed. Sound advice. Attempting to be aware all of the time would be exhausting, and also unnecessary.

And yet ... many mindfulness devotees — and not just beginners! — set their highest goal to 24/7 awareness (presence, conscious-ness, whatever you wanna call it) ... and then get down on themselves when they "slip" out of presence. This is imo partly spiritual materialism: I want THE BRASS RING! But it's also due (sadly) a good deal to the way mindfulness is taught. Waddya say, David?
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby DavidB » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:36 pm

rachMiel wrote:And yet ... many mindfulness devotees — and not just beginners! — set their highest goal to 24/7 awareness (presence, conscious-ness, whatever you wanna call it) ... and then get down on themselves when they "slip" out of presence. This is imo partly spiritual materialism: I want THE BRASS RING! But it's also due (sadly) a good deal to the way mindfulness is taught. Waddya say, David?


Oh yeah, totally agree, which is why I often recommend abandoning the spiritual path, abandon seeking. Of course though, I've been making this recommendation in relationship with what you have described above. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with seeking, or anything wrong with being spiritual, it's just that once awakening has occurred, further seeking becomes pointless. And what we're seeking isn't something that is lost anyway, it's simply being covered up by all that incessant activity, even the spiritual activity. Which is why it so ironic, that people would attempt to be aware 100% of the time. It just sounds so desperate and frantically perfectionistic, which I would have thought was the opposite of peace and acceptance?
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby rachMiel » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:54 am

Ambition, competition, and even greed can manifest in every facet of life, spirituality included. "My awareness is better than yours!" kind of thing. Spiritual materialism. Right?

DavidB wrote:... once awakening has occurred, further seeking becomes pointless.

The drive to set challenging goals and work hard to meet them ... overcome obstacles ... defy the odds is strong for us homo sapiens.

We are, by nature/nurture, problem solvers. And this is a wonderful thing, a blessing.

But ... the downside to embracing the problem/solution/problem/solution cycle is that, without perceived problems that we can heroically solve/overcome ... we get kind of lost. I mean, sure, solving a biggie usually buys you a period of relief and rejoicing. But that only lasts so long before the itch to find (read: create) a new challenge and rise to meet it becomes so strong that we can't resist scratching.

And there we are again, in the cycle, playing Sisyphus ... and enjoying* the effort of pushing the boulder back up that hill.

* Or at least telling ourselves we enjoy it.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby DavidB » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:23 am

Indeed rach, good observations.

Bill Hicks said it best. :D

The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride." And we kill those people. - Bill Hicks


And here's another one from Bill Hicks, because, Bill Hicks. He died too early.

Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather. - Bill Hicks
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
User avatar
DavidB
 
Posts: 640
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Staying conscious as a high school teacher.

Postby rachMiel » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:31 pm

Nailed it he did. (But take care ... the amusement park owners are watching.)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford


Return to Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 2 guests