Josette LeBlanc recently blogged about “Taking the Leap” and “Playing Big,” Josette inspired me to try to start a Reflective Practice group here in Marin County, north of San Francisco. And I took the leap! I invited all of the alumni of SIT courses in the “north bay” and all of the volunteer teachers at the Canal Alliance in San Rafael, where I teach. Nearly 30 people signed up for the first meeting on June 14th. So here’s how the “Playing Big” framework looks for me right now:
1. It gets you playing bigger now, according to what playing bigger means to you.
The chance for ESL teachers, who are often quite isolated here, to share ideas, grow and support one another.
2. It can be finished within one to two weeks.
Well no. My hope is that the group will become self-sufficient and that others will want to join me as coordinators and facilitators. There is a lot of talent and experience to draw on!
3. It’s simple: an action that you could describe in a short phrase.
My phrase is – to facilitate a monthly reflective practice group for ESL teachers.
4. It gets your adrenaline flowing because a leap stretches you out of your comfort zone.
At first it was scary, but then I started to get so excited and inspired by the possibilities. In fact the planning and research I did put me in closer touch with Josette (a huge blessing!) and with Zhenya Polosatova and Wilma Luth, and even got me to start my own blog, which I never, ever even contemplated until the day it seemed like the next logical step!
5. A leap puts you in contact with the audience you want to reach or influence.
I wanted to do start this RPG for two reasons: The first is the same reason that I became a trainer: there are so many generous, hardworking ESL teachers who really want to make a difference in their students’ lives. I want to help them become really effective teachers, so that they can fully realize their goals. And the other reason is that I deeply believe that reflective practice is the most valuable tool teachers can have in their tool box.